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10Investigates: KPD officer kept evidence, citations, sex doll for months, years in cruiser

The officer was fired in June after an internal investigation found some of the items should have been turned into the department years ago.Enter Headline here

December 21m 2022

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The officer's cruiser told Knoxville police all they needed to know.

Stashed in the Knoxville Police Department vehicle were various items that belonged somewhere other than in his car: dozens of citations that were never turned in; what appeared to be drug evidence taken in arrests; a deflated sex doll; and 42 forms for cars that were towed that never got turned in, a 10Investigates review shows. KPD fired Eddie Nation, a 12-year veteran, last summer.

Now the department is trying to figure out how to make changes that will ensure such lapses don't happen again. It's a question members of the Police Advisory and Review Committee raised Dec. 1 when they considered KPD's Internal Affairs Unit investigation into Nation.

"We feel confident that this was an extreme example of an officer who both neglected and failed to do his job," KPD spokesman Scott Erland told WBIR.

Erland said Chief Paul Noel wants to digitize much of the hard-copy paperwork that officers in the field now handle. That would ensure, for one thing, that documents don't sit in an officer's cruiser undetected for months or years at a time.

"We are already moving in that direction. Traffic citations have since been made entirely digital. Further, KPD's leadership team is currently in the planning and development stages of building out an improved technological infrastructure that is more efficient. A big component of that is digitizing those systems for better tracking and auditing," Erland said in a statement to the 10Investigates team.

An attorney for Nation said his client would have no comment.


KPD's IA Unit began an investigation into Nation in early 2021 after cadets were dispatched to clean out his car, which had been sitting for months, for reassignment, records show. Nation was on medical leave at the time dating to 2020.

The crew found a plethora of items, including narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Some pill bottles appeared to have been prescribed for Nation, records state.

Many items appeared to have been taken in by Nation while he was working his job, records state.

The drugs included marijuana, crack, suboxone, baggies, spoons, straws and crack pipes.

Three confiscation envelopes found in the car had never been logged, and one was marked with the word "Meth." But police found no meth with the envelope, leaving them to wonder what had happened to it, assuming it indeed existed.

"Some of these narcotics should have been confiscated as evidence corresponding to some of the misdemeanor citations that were never handed in," the IA summary stated.

Forty-one misdemeanor and city citations were also found in the cruiser. Seven had been voided.

Thirty-four, including six written by other officers, should have been turned in for further processing and prosecution but weren't, records state.

Of the 28 written by Nation, nine had been written at businesses such as WalMart, Family Dollar, Belk and Kohl's. They dated from 2010 to 2018.

"Two of the city citations issued were paid," the IA review found. "An audit done by City Court showed the rest were not in the system and not on file." Of the misdemeanor citations, many had been signed and showed a booking date, "but the subjects were never booked or charged with the crime."

Three juvenile citations were found in his car. But KPD investigators said they had no idea what happened to them and wouldn't be able to find out without a court order. Authorities also found 42 original vehicle impoundment forms in Nation's old cruiser. They were generated as a result of crashes and arrests or because investigators wanted to hold a car for evidence.

Thirty-six of the forms had Nation's name on them as the officer of record. Six had other officers' names.

Lastly of note, the deflated blow-up sex doll was found in the squad car.

Investigators deduced that the doll had been in the vehicle for at least seven months since Nation had been placed on medical leave. Why was it there? The IA investigation provides no answer. According to KPD, numerous attempts were made to speak with Nation without success in 2021.

The officer was dismissed in June, the IA having sustained numerous internal violations of the department's Code of Conduct including processing property/evidence, court responsibility, neglect of duty and unbecoming conduct. Possession of contraband and the blow-up doll raised concerns about Nation's conduct and reflected poorly on the department, records state.

"These items were all in Officer Nation's squad car for an undetermined amount of time," the IA summary states. "This was observed when cleaning out his property by members of the Cadet Unit or other KPD officers and supervisors.

"It is common knowledge of many members of the department (that) Officer Nation had these items in his car, which reflects discredit on Officer Nation in the eyes of KPD employees.

"Should the public become aware, it will reflect negatively on KPD."

PARC members talked about the case Dec. 1 as part of their regular review of IA cases.

First and foremost, members wondered, "How could these issues go on nine years without anyone noticing?"

Noel, who took over as chief earlier this year, told the group the department's longstanding reliance on hard copies of citations and other forms represented part of the problem."This is a paper process, where we're collecting pieces of paper. And anytime you're collecting pieces of paper, it's easy to accidentally lose things. It's also easy to intentionally, you know, misplace things and turn stuff in," he said.

One PARC member wondered if the former officer had been drug-tested during the investigation. But Noel reminded them that the officer had been on extended medical leave.

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