A Louisiana cop is back on the job after receiving a five-day suspension and a speeding ticket for striking and killing a pedestrian in his unmarked patrol back in late June.
Baton Rouge officer Frederick Thorton is now working with the Street Crimes Unit after serving the suspension.
Thorton fatally struck 42-year-old Phillip Clark, of Meridian, at about 5:40 p.m. on June 27.
Baton Rough police Sgt. L’Jean McKneely refused to say how fast Thorton was going at the time of the incident.
However, Thorton received a speeding ticket after the incident, which indicates he was traveling over the speed limit when he attempted to drive around an ambulance crossing in front of him at an intersection and hit Clark, who was crossing the street.
A man who witnessed the incident stated the patrol car was traveling “very fast” at the time of incident.
“He was going too fast to think about what he was going to do. He couldn’t stop and so it looked like he went even faster to try to beat the ambulance because there was no way he was going to stop for the ambulance,” the witness told WAFB.
Clark, an eight-year veteran of the department, was on-duty at the time he caused the fatality.
Sgt. McKneely stated Thorton was not responding to an emergency call at the time, but he was actually headed to an assignment for the Street Crimes Unit.
The unit is not dispatched on emergency calls.
But McKneely said they do get put on assignments, which are not necessarily time-sensitive, but depending on circumstances, they could be.
However, McKneely refused to indicate what assignment Thorton was on or whether or not the particular assignment was time-sensitive.
Although the Baton Rouge Police Department concluded their internal affairs investigation about two weeks ago, which cleared Thorton, District Attorney Hillar C. Moore says a separate investigation by his office is still ongoing “to determine if any formal charges will be filed.”
Baton Rouge police initially waited about 48 hours to release Thorton’s name.
Thorton formally worked in the Uniform Patrol Unit.