June 2007

Demanding Accountability

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Officer Lassiter -

Nothing but a bully with a badge?

By Ron Lee
The Verbal Assassin

Bethany, OK - Bethany Police Officer Robert Lassiter has made quite a name for himself in many parts of the community, and he isn't winning any popularity contests. In fact, it's quite the opposite. People are out-and-out afraid of him and have painted him as a rampaging cop who is hell-bent on getting anything he wants. And, strangely enough it seems like he is succeeding.

Officer Robert Lassiter

With his continued pursuit and harassment of a man whose wife he was allegedly having an affair with, and according to an investigator, even having her bent over the hood of a car at the end of a dirt road while he was on duty ... Oops, embarrassingly, it was caught on tape by the investigator hired by the husband of the cheating April Barton. Oh wait, Lassiter confiscated the video and it has even been alleged that he had a hand in altering it to omit the tasty details. Evidently, the investigator has filed suit against the city for the sum of $125k for his wrongful imprisonment when Lassiter confiscated the video and threw him in jail for "interfering with a police officer". Interfering with his groove is more like it.

Lassiter, who is still involved with April Barton, has expanded his harassment of April's ex, Tom Barton, to Tom's family and Lassiter has gone so far as to cite Tom's parents for moving violations which were subsequently thrown out of court. But, Lassiter's almost daily cruise by Tom's house continues.

But, this case isn't just about harassment, it gets down-right insidious, or at least seemingly so. Tom Barton is being accused of sex crimes and Lassiter was the initial reporting officer. It's highly likely Lassiter was already involved with April prior to the charges and Lassiter is rumored to be friends with the accusing families. Something just doesn't seem right with this picture, especially when you uncover the facts in the case against Barton, which I have. (For more on the Tom Barton case please go to usobserver.com and search for Barton.)

Evidently, the Bethany Chief of Police, Neal Troutman, thinks Lassiter is a problem, too, but has said there isn't much he can do. But, one has to wonder if Troutman would do anything at all. I mean, when Lassiter was almost literally caught with his pants down with April Barton, Troutman dished out a stiff 3 day suspension for "conduct unbecoming a police officer and violating the department's policy on professionalism." Wow, what a joke. Perhaps, Lassiter acts the way he does because it is tolerated.

Well, the time has come to do something about it. It's time to take a stand. That's what you have to do with bullies, and it seems to me like officer Lassiter is nothing more than a bully with a badge.

Call Bethany City Manager, John Shugart at 405-789-5005 as it seems like he is the only person of authority who can do anything about Lassiter.

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