On Monday, Aug. 31, the department’s command staff was notified of an incident that took place on Jan. 7 involving then-deputy Oliver and a suspect who was in custody. After learning of the incident, Sheriff Lott ordered an immediate criminal investigation and a review of the body camera footage.
On Tuesday, the sheriff’s department consulted with the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which resulted in the issuance of a warrant. On Wednesday, Oliver was arrested and booked into the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
“His actions are unacceptable, and I will not have it from any of my deputies,” Sheriff Lott said. “I hold my deputies to a much higher standard, and anyone who works for me should know that I will hold them accountable.”
Oliver was hired in July 2013. The most recent rank he held was of master deputy in Region 4, which encompasses most of Northwest Columbia.
The incident revealed a failure in the department’s check and balances of use-of-force reports.
“It’s frustrating that we did not learn of this incident because our checks and balances failed,” Sheriff Lott said. “We are better than this. The community expects better from us. I expect better.”
As a result, Sheriff Lott announced Wednesday the creation of a new position within the internal affairs unit. The sole role of that investigator will be to review body camera footage involving use-of-force incidents.
“This will ensure use-of-force incidents are reviewed by the officer’s chain of command and by internal affairs, regardless whether a complaint is lodged,” Sheriff Lott said.