ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — A former Greensboro police officer accused of involvement in a lawn equipment theft ring plans to sue some of the law enforcement agencies who he says mishandled his case.
All charges filed against William White, 32, of Pleasant Garden, have been dismissed in Alamance and Guilford counties.
FOX8 talked to White on Wednesday to get his side of the story. He’s maintained his innocence since he was arrested and fired from the Greensboro Police Department on March 6.
“I was hoping that the criminal justice system would prevail, and it did to some extent, but I’m obviously happy and elated, but more shocked than anything,” he said.
The Alamance County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges against him on Wednesday. White was charged with two counts of possession of stolen goods and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses.
But prosecutors in Alamance County still think White committed these crimes and that he got off on a technicality.
The Guilford County District Attorney’s Office initially dropped charges against White for two counts of weapons of mass destruction and one count of felony larceny on Aug. 17.
A United States district judge dismissed federal charges against White on June 19. He was charged with possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle and possession of three unregistered firearm silencers.
According to court records, White’s charges were dropped because of a bad search warrant obtained by the Reidsville Police Department in September 2016. A federal judge ruled this summer that search warrant violated White’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, anything officers found during the search warrant could not be used to prosecute him.
Both the DA’s offices in Guilford and Alamance counties told FOX8 their charges were based on evidence found during that search, which made that evidence invalid, with one exception. Court records show the charge of obtaining property by false pretenses have an “insufficient connection” to Alamance County. The records go on to say even though “this defendant did commit these crimes, the proper venue for these offenses is not in Alamance County.”
That charge could be picked up elsewhere, but the other charges will be dropped for good.
White says the DA’s offices are lying about why these charges were dropped.
“The Guilford County district attorney, after she dismissed the charges, said I was guilty of breaking in to a police evidence room,” he said. “Never been in an evidence room in my life, believe it or not. And obviously today the Alamance District attorney took the low road and said I was part of this crime when everything shows that I am not.”
White worked as an officer with the Greensboro Police Department for nearly nine years. Before that, he served in the Marine Corps for four years.
He says he’s not sure if he plans to go back to the law enforcement field.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a sour taste in my mouth from some of the law enforcement agencies, but I hold our law enforcement in the utmost regard,” White said.