Deputy Corley Pearson is on routine administrative leave following Friday's altercation.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A Davidson County sheriff's deputy is on routine administrative leave after a physical altercation in a Metro courtroom involving the deputy's gun.
The incident happened Friday afternoon in the General Sessions courtroom of Judge Casey Moreland
According to sources, the judge was unhappy about a prisoner's release schedule and summoned for sheriff's department supervisor Corley Pearson.
"There were words exchanged in the courtroom between the judge and one of our employees," said Davidson County sheriff's office spokesperson, Karla West.
Sources confirm that court officers asked the sheriff's deputy to surrender his weapon while the judge contemplated contempt of court charges.
Sources say Deputy Pearson didn't comply in a timely manner, prompting court officers to approach and put their hands on him.
Pearson had already pulled his weapon.
"There were a few seconds where it was hands on," West said, adding, "He was going to surrender his weapon. I think there was some confusion in the courtroom as to what that move was."
Sheriff's officials say at no time was there a threat or act of aggression and called the incident a miscommunication. They say the deputy's gun was out because the deputy was complying with the court order.
However, sources close to the investigation say the moment was so volatile a Metro police officer seated in court pulled her service weapon.
"There were some other individuals who maybe saw that as threatening, but it is important to point out Having a weapon in open court with some threatening moves indicates that individual would have been arrested, but at no point was Mr. Pearson arrested, booked or charged with anything," West said. "It really seemed to be a moment of confusion."
The deputy's gun was secured.
The district's attorney's office says it is not investigating since no charges have been filed.
A Metro police spokesperson said the department is not investigating the incident.
Judge Moreland has declined to comment on the incident.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:07 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:07:37 GMT
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