Officer resigns; charges dropped

Jan. 24, 2013 @ 06:40 PM

The Durham County District Attorney’s Office dismissed two charges against Stephanie Nickerson Thursday on the same day the Durham Police Department revealed that the officer she was accused of assaulting had resigned.

According to information released to the public about Nickerson by her supporters, the 25-year-old Orange County woman was visiting a friend in Durham when police officers showed up at the house Oct. 28, 2012, and entered without a search warrant.

When Nickerson told her friend she had a right to refuse to let them enter her home, Nickerson claimed one of the officers grabbed her by the arm.

When she tried to pull away and asked if she was under arrest, Nickerson claimed the officer, Bryan Schnee, punched her in the face several times and took her to the ground.

She suffered a black eye and a broken nose, as well as bruises on her body.

Nevertheless, she was the one charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.

Nickerson filed a complaint with the police department that she was the victim of the assault by the officer, and the department opened an investigation.

Schnee was placed on paid administrative leave.

On Thursday, the charges against Nickerson were dismissed and the

Durham Police Department said Schnee had resigned.

The investigation is still ongoing, according to a police department spokesperson.

“According to Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr., even though Cpl. Brian Schnee has resigned from the police department, our investigation into this matter is going to continue,” a statement from the police department said. “We anticipate having a final resolution to this case in the very near future. We appreciate the public’s understanding as we bring this very thorough and comprehensive investigation to a close.”