Long Beach leaders fire both officers connected to child's death

Long Beach leaders fire both officers connected to child's death
Investigators believe Cassie Barker was visiting another officer at his home when she left her child in a patrol car for around four hours. (Photo source: Facebook)

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A Long Beach police officer whose three-year-old daughter died in her patrol car over the weekend has been fired, along with a second officer connected to the death.

Chief Wayne McDowell submitted a letter to the board of aldermen Tuesday night recommending the immediate termination of Officer Cassie Barker, and Officer Clark Ladner, who was also suspended without pay during the investigation.

The chief said he made the recommendation because of a "violation of department policies."  One of those violations was conduct detrimental to the public.

Aldermen discussed the letter in executive session. When they resumed their public meeting, they voted to fire the officers. Civil service protection gives the officers 10 days to appeal the termination vote.

"Hopefully it gives us that half step forward," the chief said, noting the death of the little girl and the officers' involvement has taken a toll on his staff.

Chief McDowell said he knows "It's going to take some time to get morale back and get trust back."

You can read the letters from Chief McDowell here: http://bit.ly/2dRLVoA

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