Centerton Police Chief Addresses Wrongful Arrest Of Fayetteville Football Player

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CENTERTON (KFSM) -- The Centerton police chief is reviewing his police department's procedures following the wrongful arrest of Fayetteville High School starting running back earlier this month.

Chief Cody Harper had already issued an apology for the arrest of Terrance Rock, 18, on charges of burglary and theft of property, but said Monday (Nov. 28) standard procedures were not properly followed during the arrest and he is in the process of making changes.

"We are going to look at this process thoroughly and figure out what happened as far as why this went forward the way it did and figure out where the shortcomings came on our part to address the issue to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.

Harper said he does not sign off on every arrest because that approval process goes through supervising sergeants.

"The biggest thing is actually having the procedures followed that we have in place as far as our approvals process and things being sent to the prosecuting attorney`s office for their approval, for their eyes and so forth, to make sure those things actually happen," he said.

Rock's attorney said the arrest has tarnished his reputation and aside from the mugshot, Rock was also arrested in school, which Harper said was just a coincidence.

"We arrest them where we find them. Unfortunately, sometimes it's not the best place or it might be a little inconvenience to that person, but if we need to address something we will," he said.

Court documents show officers used Instagram and a Google search to wrongly identify Rock. Harper said investigators will still use social media because it's a useful tool, but it will not be the only way officers identify suspects.

Harper also said the department is working to make things right by Rock.

"We're doing everything we possibly can to make this as much as this never happened, but unfortunately the social media posts and things that are out there I don't know if those will ever be 100 percent gone, time will tell,” he said.

The chief told us Rock's bond has been taken care of and all permanent records, including his finger prints, have been removed from the system.

Another suspect, who is a juvenile, has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and theft of property after he came forward following Rock's arrest.

5NEWS Sports spoke with Rock last week about the arrest. He said he's grateful Coach Bill Blankenship and his teammates stood by him until he was cleared.


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