Interim police chief Todd Vande Zande confirmed that officer Daniel Henley submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday afternoon.
Vande Zande did not mince words on his feelings.
“I’m disappointed that he did,” he said. “I don’t believe that he should have resigned. He’s a good officer who feels like this agency and the city let him down. To be quite honest, I don’t blame him. I think the focus of this traffic stop was pointed at the wrong person.”
Henley pulled over Wood as he was leaving a city council meeting on March 15. During the stop Henley turned off the sound on the video recorder of his patrol car and let the city manager off with a warning.
The latter half of the video of Henley pulling over Wood contains no audio and has raised questions about whether the officer gave preferential treatment to Wood.
Phone calls and emails to Wood on Wednesday were not immediately returned.
Henley, 35, had been with the Canton Police Department for two years before resigning.
Vande Zande said that since the video aired on an Atlanta television news station, Henley had not shown his face around the department.
Last week, Vande Zande told the Cherokee Tribune, the Journal’s sister paper, that “our policy is to maintain constant audio, video” recordings during stops because it provides evidence when an officer has to go to court or when an allegation of improper conduct is made against an officer.
Vande Zande said Henley’s current assignment is to seek out and arrest impaired drivers who exhibit signs they are under the influence, such as speeding and weaving.
When the officer determined that Wood was not under the influence, he decided not to issue a citation, thus turning off his audio, the interim chief said.
Henley pulled over Wood shortly after 10 p.m. after the city manager was allegedly driving 45 mph on Railroad Street and not maintaining his lane on Waleska Street.
The speed limit on Railroad Street is 30 mph.
Henley pulled over Wood at the Chevron gas station in front of the Pruett YMCA facility.
According to the video of the stop, after being pulled over, Wood exited his vehicle and proceeded to walk toward the patrol car.
Officer Henley asked Wood about four times to get back into his vehicle.
Before getting back into his car, Wood asks, “Is there something wrong?” before complying with the officer’s orders.
In the video, once Wood gets back into the car, Henley approaches Wood’s car and informs him why he was pulled over.
The officer also tells Wood, “It’s not very good to jump out like that,” before returning to his patrol car.
Wood responds by stating his name, his position and that “I just left a four-hour City Council meeting.”
Wood was referencing the length of the March 15 City Council meeting, which lasted for roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes, and an executive session that lasted for nearly an hour.
Henley then told Wood he didn’t know who he was and Wood responded with, “I don’t know you either, but I’m just telling you who I am and where I just left.”
Wood hands over his driver’s license to Henley, and the officer proceeds to return to his vehicle.
Shortly after that the audio goes silent, but Henley lets the city manager off with a warning.