Officer resigns amid gun video controversy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

In yet another chapter of a story that made national headlines, a 16-year-veteran of the Suffolk Police Department resigned last week after he refused to review a video that showed a 3-year-old boy playing with a gun.

Officer John W. Griggs, 56, gave his notice, effective immediately, on Friday, said Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department.

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&uot;He is no longer employed by the police department,&uot; she said Tuesday. George refused to elaborate on his resignation.

Griggs became the subject of an internal investigation last week after the video of the boy was televised nationwide.

When police gave the incident a closer probe, the parents, Robert J. Allen and Joni M. Allen of Holland, each were charged with felony child neglect and arrested. The couple spent a night in the Western Tidewater Regional Jail and they were each released on bond.

On July 21, Griggs was dispatched to the Allen’s home after receiving complaints that weapons were being fired too close to a


Later, he was called back to the home after a neighbor called police about the video.

The next day, Angela Gizara, who made the tape, and her mother-in-law, Regina F. Heatwole, gave the tape to a television reporter, who later forwarded it to police.