Prosecutor: Arkansas police recruit’s death was accidental

Dec 18, 2022, 12:02 AM | Updated: 2:06 pm

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas police recruit died of natural causes while attending a law enforcement academy where there are “concerning issues with the culture of the training program,” according to a case file reviewed by a local prosecutor.

The July death of Patrolman Vincent “Vinny” Parks was initially the subject of a criminal investigation by Arkansas State Police. Parks, 38, died on his first day of training at the Central Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.

An investigative file on his death revealed “concerning issues with the culture” of the training facility, including “hazing” and a “lack of helpful cooperation in the investigation,” according to letter written Thursday by Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley to Arkansas State Police Col. Bill Bryant.

A subsequent medical examiner’s autopsy report ruled that Parks’ death was an accident caused by a “Sickle-cell trait-related” crisis related to physical exertion and heat distress, Jegley wrote. Heart disease and obesity might have also contributed to the accidental death.

Jegley’s office determined the actions of the academy were not criminal. He declined to detail the issues he referenced with the culture of the training program.

“We will not reiterate those concerns but would invite a careful inquiry into the practice, procedures, and other problems at (the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy) made obvious in the ASP report,” Jegley wrote.

A text message, obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, from former Department of Public Safety Director Jami Cook to Alison Williams, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s chief of staff, and three other law enforcement officials, shortly after Park fell ill said the trainee “fell out” after jogging to and from his car and engaging in four minutes of calisthenics.

Central Arkansas was under a heat advisory from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. that Sunday, Dylan Cooper, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, told the newspaper.

Parks had joined the Jonesboro Police Department in June. Following his death, JPD removed four other recruits sent to Camp Robinson from the academy, KAIT-TV reported.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this July 12, 2017 file photo, an issue of the National Enquirer featuring President Dona...
Associated Press

National Enquirer, ensnared in “catch-and-kill” is sold

The National Enquirer, the scandal-plagued tabloid that engaged in “catch-and-kill” practices to bury stories about Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, has been sold. VVIP is also buying the National Examiner and Globe from magazine publisher a360 Media in an all-cash deal, though exact financial terms were not disclosed. In December 2018 the parent company […]
1 day ago
Patriot missile launchers acquired from the U.S. last year are seen deployed in Warsaw, Poland, Mon...
Associated Press

Poland deploys Patriot batteries to capital city, Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Patriot missile batteries that Poland acquired from the U.S. last year have been deployed to the country’s capital Warsaw as part of military exercise, according to Poland’s defense ministry. Poland is taking additional steps to strengthen its defensive capabilities as Russia’s war in neighboring Ukraine enters its second year later this […]
1 day ago
FILE - People visit the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida...
Associated Press

Florida to begin session on Disney district, migrant flights

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers will meet Monday to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district and expand a migrant relocation program, key conservative priorities of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis ahead of his expected White House run. Republican leaders of the statehouse, in coordination with DeSantis, have ordered the Legislature to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Media watchdog urges release of journalist detained in Kabul

PARIS (AP) — Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders along with 14 French media outlets and production companies on Monday called on Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to release a journalist imprisoned for a month in Kabul. In a joint statement, RSF and French media said journalist Mortaza Behboudi, with dual French and Afghan citizenship, was arrested on […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Liz Weston: ‘Bridge’ your way to Social Security

Delaying the start of Social Security benefits is a powerful way for retirees to cope with inflation, survive bad investment markets and reduce the risk they’ll run short of money. The advantages of waiting are so great that financial planners often recommend their clients tap other savings, such as retirement funds, to help them delay […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

48 arrested in Europe over encrypted app used in drug trade

BERLIN (AP) — European investigators have shut down an encrypted communication service that was used as a secure channel for organized crime, particularly in the drug trade, and arrested 48 people, German authorities said Monday. More than 70 properties were searched in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland on Friday, when the arrests were made, […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Prosecutor: Arkansas police recruit’s death was accidental