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Lawsuit moves forward
Alleges misconduct by newly appointed PPD chief during April 14 incident
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A hearing was held Thursday on a lawsuit filed against two of the county’s top law enforcement officers.

The suit against newly appointed Pembroke Police Chief Mark Crowe and Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith alleges misconduct and seeks damages for an April 14 incident that led to six arrests. It also sought to keep authorities involved in the incident on Beulah Church Road from patrolling the area while the suit is being considered, but Superior Court Judge David Cavender denied the request.

"There is conflict with the evidence," Cavender said, "and it doesn’t warrant ordering the sheriff to prevent law enforcement from going in the area."

Cavender did allow the lawsuit to move forward, however.

Crowe was a Bryan County Sheriff’s Department deputy when he and Tommy Lee Williams got into a fight on April 14.

Another deputy and a Pembroke police officer were also involved in the incident. Williams, who was reportedly tazed and hit with a baton, was taken to the hospital by EMS while Crowe and the two other officers were treated for injuries in Pembroke.

Savannah attorney Sage Brown, who filed the suit on behalf of the six people arrested as a result of the incident, said the group would continue to demand an investigation by an outside party such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

"We expected the temporary order (prohibiting certain officers from patrolling the area) to be denied," Brown said "but we felt it was necessary to ask anyway."

"The next step is getting the investigation," he said.

Pembroke Mayor Judge Cook said she stands behind the decision to appoint Crowe.

"If someone showed me criminal charges for something he did wrong, then we would look at the situation again, but until that time comes, if it comes, we stand behind him," Cook said Thursday.

Smith and Crowe declined comment.

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