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Benjamin Dessalines

The Chattanooga Police Department opened Tuesday an internal investigation into an allegation of misconduct involving an officer in CPD's Neighborhood Policing Bureau, according to a news release from the department. 

The CPD launched the Internal Affairs investigation into Officer Benjamin Dessalines after a victim filed a report with CPD's Special Victims Unit on Tuesday. 

"Due to the victim's statement identifying the suspect as a CPD Officer and to remove any suggestion regarding a conflict of interest, CPD immediately turned over the criminal investigation to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office per the direction of the Hamilton County District Attorney," the release states. 

CPD relieved Dessalines of duty on Wednesday. He will remain on administrative leave until a final disposition in the Internal Affairs investigation is reached. 

Dessalines was then arrested Thursday by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office on charges of felony kidnapping and felony sexual battery.

He was in custody Thursday evening at the Hamilton County Jail.

"There are hundreds of Chattanooga Police Officers who do great work every day to uphold the mission of the Chattanooga Police Department and build trust with community members," said Chief David Roddy. "Investigations into conduct of this magnitude are the result of choices and actions of a few and do not represent the values of the department and the many officers who serve the Chattanooga community."

The CPD Internal Affairs investigation is separate from the criminal investigation being conducted by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Dessalines was hired by CPD in 2016. 

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