Forest Park police chief under investigation because of domestic violence report

by Nolan Clay Modified: January 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013
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Oklahoma City police have been investigating the police chief of the tiny town of Forest Park because her husband reported Jan. 6 she attacked him with a knife, The Oklahoman learned.

Amanda R. Eastridge was not arrested, and police kept secret her identity in the only public police report about the accusation.

Both she and her husband, Oklahoma City police Sgt. Bryan Eastridge, now deny that she swung a knife during their early morning argument.

“It was a verbal argument, period. … Everybody in the world goes through marital issues, but there was not … anything physical,” Amanda Eastridge, 35, told The Oklahoman in an interview Wednesday with her husband at their Oklahoma City home.

“We love each other,” Bryan Eastridge, 33, said Wednesday.

Amanda Eastridge wrote in a statement Friday that their marital problems are a result of her husband's infidelity. Bryan Eastridge declined further comment Friday about his wife's statement.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said he personally will review the reports once the police investigation is complete and determine whether charges are appropriate.

“We view these allegations to be very serious, and we will treat this case like any other matter, officer-involved or not,” Prater said.

Prater said Friday a criminal charge still can be filed in domestic violence cases even if the victim refuses to prosecute.

Police policies

Amanda Eastridge has served about seven years as the police chief in Forest Park, a town covering 2.1 square miles in eastern Oklahoma County. She and Bryan Eastridge married in 2011.

Police blacked out her name as the suspect from the two-page crime report in keeping with a long-standing policy, officials said. Police also blacked out her address, phone numbers and occupation.

The Oklahoma City Police Department does not identify suspects unless they have been arrested or charged or the public is at risk, officials said.

“It's basically because we get so many reports where somebody lists a possible suspect, and they turn out not to be a suspect at all,” Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said of the policy.

“Anybody can say anything about anybody, and we need to have the opportunity to try to figure out whether or not there actually is some reason or legally probable cause for us to be able to really consider them a suspect.”

Police also blacked out Bryan Eastridge's name as the victim in the report in keeping with another policy not to identify domestic violence victims for their protection, he said.

“We treated this the same as we've treated any other domestic violence, no better, no worse,” Citty said. “There was no special treatment based on their positions. That's what we do on a normal basis.”

The investigation

The Oklahoman learned of the investigation from a tip.

Police emailed the redacted report to The Oklahoman after a reporter specifically asked for the report of an assault involving Amanda Eastridge as the suspect.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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