Problematic Arkansas State Trooper Russell Alan Aiken suspended and transfered over sexual harassment of fellow female Trooper - His command chain tried to keep it a secret
We introduced you to Trooper Aiken back in September 2017 in a report about Arkansas State Police Troop L being under review after Aiken rammed a fellow Trooper with his patrol vehicle and other employees were caught fraudulently claiming they worked on days they took sick leave. Click here for that story.
As we reported, in August 2017 Aiken was
involved in a car chase and mistook a plain clothed fellow ASP Trooper,
Lt. John T. Overman, as a suspect and struck him with his patrol
vehicle and held him at gunpoint.
At the time Overman stated that Aiken was an extreme liability to the agency, the safety of the public, other officers and himself.
Aiken initially refused to take responsibility for his actions and inappropriately made jokes about the incident. He even went so far as to keep a piece of his damaged bumper to make a plaque to commemorate his ramming and permanently injuring Lt. Overman.
An internal investigation was conducted and the outcome of the investigation resulted in an incredible disciplinary agreement.
In addition to the two day suspension and one year ban on any promotion, Aiken was prohibited from participating in vehicle pursuits, except in extreme circumstances.
Then in January 2021, Aiken was back in the spotlight, when our exclusive breaking report identified Aiken as one of two Arkansas State Troopers that participated in the insurrection and attempted coup of the U.S. government on January 7, 2021. Click here for that story.
That brings us up to the present time.
On February 28th, we received notification that on March 9th, the State Police Commission would be hearing an appeal concerning action the ASP had taken against Aiken.
We made a verbal request for any records relating to Aiken being suspended or fired.
ASP told the final outcome of any action was pending and records could not be released at this time. We also asked if these hearing were open to the public. Their initial response was no. That seemed odd, as most all appeals of public employees before a board or commission are public event, save executive sessions.
We advised ASP we would be there, going live, and let the public watch us being kicked out.
Then on March 1st, ASP advised that those hearing were in fact open to the public.
On March 2nd, another notice was received from the ASP about Aiken's Hearing...he had withdrawn his appeal.
So we fired off a FOI request for records concerning Aiken.
We thought it might be related to his participation as an insurgent in the failed January 7th coup, but when records were provided it was more salacious than that.
Turns out Aiken's had sexually harassed a female co-worker, Trooper Britni "Nikki" Binam.
|Trooper Britni "Nikki" Binam|
Binam joined the ASP in 2021 coming from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Police Department.
Binam joined UAPD in 2018 after graduating UAF in 2017.
Records obtained from the ASP revealed that Aiken had made sexually inappropriate remarks to Binam, some that were witnessed by two Benton County Sheriff's deputies, Ashley Duke and Zack Martin.
During a telephone conversation on June 13, 2022 that Binam had with Aiken, that concerned when she was going off shift, Aiken asked her if she was going home to "flick the bean", a phrase that is used to refer to female masturbation.
Then on July 9th, when Binam, Aiken and two Benton County Sheriff's Deputies were working a hit and run collision near an area were a lot of sexual activity frequently occurs, Binam was looking at a text message on her phone and chuckled. Aiken asked her if her boyfriend, who happens to be a Benton County Sheriff's Deputy, had sent her a "dick pic".
|Trooper Binham and her boyfriend Deputy Guthrie|
Later during that incident, Binam remarked that if she happened to come down to the area they were in she wouldn't be surprised to catch individuals engaged in sexual activity as it was a well-know make out spot. Aiken fiddled with Binam's duty belt and made comments about Binam getting naked and joining in. All in the presence of the two BCSO deputies.
Binam talked with her immediate supervisor, Sgt. Raymond Triplett, after the incidents of July 9th and he told her to put her concerns in a memorandum.
|ASP Sgt. Raymond Triplett|
On July 17, 2022 Binam sent a complaint about Aiken to Triplett.
Note: the memo indicates there were three pages but we only received two.
On July 23rd Binam asked Sgt. Triplett if he had any updates on her complaint. Triplett said no.
On July 27th Binam asked Triplett if Capt. Russell and Lt. Pinner had spoken with Aiken.
|Capt. Scott Russell - Troop L commander|
|Lt. Seth Pinner|
Triplett had no answer so both he and Binam went to see Capt. Russell.
Russell told Triplett and Binam that his lieutenants had spoken to Aiken and the matter was settled.
Captain Russell had decided that there was no need to go beyond the troop level to deal with this situation.
Department of Public Safety/Arkansas State Police Policy dictates otherwise.
So in this memorandum blame for the cover-up is placed on Major Forrest Marks.
|Major Forrest Marks|
Word is Aiken was in another mess when he quit. Folks say he damaged his patrol vehicle and was about to be fired. As usual, cops are allowed to resign instead of being fired. That keeps any investigation from the public as it did not result in a suspension or termination.