Police Investigation: Conflict of Interests?

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Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) - Maryville Police continue to investigate the officer-involved shooting that took an 18-year-old's life Thursday night at a CVS pharmacy.

Some are questioning why the Maryville Police Department is handling the investigation on its own, with two of its officers at the forefront of the case.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford spoke with the police department to find out why.

Sometimes another agency is brought in for a situation like this, and often times it's TBI, but Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp says timing and witnesses were the deciding factor to handle this case on their own.

"What we're doing now is just taking all the statements that we've gathered and looking at them in their totality,” Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp says they're also reviewing surveillance tapes from CVS that recorded Officers Ronnie Pryor and D.J. Porter shooting 18-year-old Daniel Pfeffer to death.

"Still just putting the last pieces of the puzzle together,” Chief Crisp says.

In the meantime, Pryor and Porter are on paid administrative leave, so why not bring an outside agency in to handle something involving Maryville's own officers?

"I went ahead and chose to do our own investigation after conferring with our local district attorney Mike Flynn,” says Crisp.

"The only way that we would investigate something like that is at the request of the District Attorney. I can tell you this hasn't happened yet,” says TBI spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson.

With more than a dozen witnesses inside CVS Thursday night, Chief Crisp says he had no time to wait for another agency, such as TBI.

"We had so many large number of witnesses that I really wanted to interview that night the shooting happened rather than waiting a couple days,” Chief Crisp says.

The Police Department's Criminal Investigative Division is heading the investigation, and for those who may think favoritism could come into play with Officer Pryor and Porter, "Absolutely not. I think the credibility and integrity of our police department speaks for itself,” Chief Crisp says.

Daniel Pfeffer's mother says she's hiring a private investigator, but Chief Crisp says so far he feels both officers did what they're trained to do. “Based on our investigation where it's at right now and reviewing the evidence that's been given to us, without a doubt, we followed policy and procedure and the law."

Chief Crisp says they expect to have the investigation complete by the end of this week or the first of next.

After that, they'll present their case to District Attorney General Mike Flynn and go from there.

So it shouldn't be too long before we have an outcome on this.

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