A Columbia police officer has been disciplined over the wrongful arrest of a Smithton Middle School student whose mother contended she was targeted because of her race.
Police spokesman Jeff Pitts confirmed in an email that Officer Tony Ash “received discipline” after the Columbia Police Department’s Internal Affairs office sustained a complaint from the mother. Pitts did not provide further details about the nature of the disciplinary action and noted that both Ash and the mother “will have the opportunity to appeal the outcome.”
The mother of the student, Kandas Holmes-Barnes, said Thursday she’s glad that the police sustained the complaint, which was referred to the Internal Affairs office by the Human Rights Commission. Holmes-Barnes filed a complaint at that agency in May, alleging that her daughter, who is black, had been racially profiled.
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