Tennessee Deputy Dragged By Suspect's Car Fired For 'Inappropriate Conduct'

By Sarah Tate

January 12, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

A Tennessee deputy who was once dragged by a suspect's vehicle was recently terminated from his law enforcement role for "inappropriate conduct" while on the job.

Former Perry County Deputy Jonathan Kelly was terminated from the department on December 31 after a complaint was filed against him by a resident just days prior. According to WKRN, within hours, investigators were able to find information backing up the complaint, leading to Kelly's dismissal. The case is now being handled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

"This was reported as one incident only, and I've never had any type of complaint like this against this particular deputy," said Sheriff Nick Weems.

In October, Kelly was dragged by a suspect's car while attempting to make a traffic stop, the news outlet reports. He received some injuries during the incident, and the suspect was taken into custody weeks later.

"He has done a lot of good in this community while he worked here, made lots and lots of drug cases," said Weems. "He was one of our drug investigators and he's done a whole lot of good in our community, but whenever you are looking at something like that, it takes one bad thing to crush all the good that you've done and in this case, that's going to be him. He's ruined his name and career here."

While the nature of the incident behind Kelly's termination has not been released, Weems said it was important that authorities investigated any crime or mistreatment to help restore the relationship between police and the community they serve. He also praised the victim for their "difficult decision" of filing the complaint.

"It's very disheartening, very disappointing," he said of the allegations against Kelly. "We are all human, we all make mistakes, but when you put on this badge and you swear to uphold the constitution you put yourself, you are held to a higher standard and we should all walk and talk and breathe that."

The TBI investigation remains ongoing.

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