Officer decommissioned after allegations of excessive forcePosted: Updated:
A Metro police officer is off the streets after a traffic stop he made led to questions about conduct.
The 23-year veteran was trying to arrest a young woman for driving under the influence, but what happened next has sparked two different investigations.
According to an affidavit, Officer Phillip Shuler said driver Natasha Holland was resisting arrest during the stop along Interstate 40 last month and he had no choice but to force her into his police cruiser as she complained her handcuffs were too tight.
Holland contends the officer slammed her head against the car for no reason, so now the Metro Nashville Police Department is working to determine whether the officer violated any department policies or broke any laws.
Holland received 10 stitches behind her ear, had a wound on her forehead glued and is now considering reconstructive surgery.
She didn't want to talk to Channel 4 News on camera, but her dad J.W. Holland did, and he wasn't happy about the alleged incident.
"It's not OK. I think he needs to lose his job and go to jail," said J.W. Holland said.
Shuler has been with the department for more than two decades, and his employee file is full of accolades.
However, he was also suspended twice - once in 1997 when he allegedly head-butted a man while off duty after a dog urinated in his yard, and again in 2000 for calling a woman a "heathen" and "stupid" during a traffic stop.
As for this most recent incident, it's now under investigation.
"This is the type of situation that the police department takes very seriously," said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron. "We are very closely looking at the force that was used to determine if it was necessary or whether any rules and regulations were broken - whether any Tennessee law was violated in that use of force."
Shuler will remain decommissioned until the investigation is complete.
Police confirm they have video of the traffic stop, and because it is part of the investigation, Channel 4 News has not been allowed to view it.
Holland has been arrested in the past for DUI and for filing a false police report.
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