Officer Cole promoted amid police investigation

Travis B. Cole

Greensboro Police Department records show that former Officer Travis B. Cole — who quit last month during investigations into his handling of an incident with Dejuan Yourse — was actually promoted while an internal investigation was ongoing.

According to employment history provided by the department, Cole was promoted to the rank of Police Officer III on Aug. 1, well after the June 17 incident with Yourse. It is not immediately clear why Cole was promoted or how this could have occurred during the investigation.

“A person is presumed innocent unless/until an investigation reveals otherwise,” police spokesperson Susan Danielsen said Tuesday, responding to an inquiry via email. “In this instance, the promotion occurred before the investigation was complete.”

The police department later opened a second investigation into Cole pertaining to the incident and placed him on paid administrative leave on Aug. 10, but Cole resigned on Aug. 19 before the dual investigations could be completed, records show. The department later found that Cole violated its directives on use of force, courtesy towards the public, compliance to laws and regulations and arrest, search and seizure. Officer CN Jackson is currently under investigation for the incident with Yourse as well, Chief Wayne Scott said in a press conference yesterday.

Greensboro City Council released the footage of the incident yesterday, in which Yourse can be heard saying that Cole punched him in the eye and lip. Cole threatened to hit him again during the arrest — all charges were later dropped against Yourse, who was sitting on his mother’s front porch.

Read more here. You can watch the video here beginning at 38:11.

Update (Sept. 28, 10 a.m.): In a press release this morning the city of Greensboro said, “Effective immediately, City Manager Jim Westmoreland is placing a 30 day hold on the promotion of any officers directly involved in the incident and events involving former police officer Travis Cole or in the investigative process.”

The announcement did not acknowledge the promotion of Cole in the middle of the internal investigation last month, which Triad City Beat uncovered and reported the day before.

Additionally, here are two more details from our longer article on the matter:

“Cole and all of his other academy graduates were promoted on the same day,” police spokesperson Susan Danielsen said via email. Cole’s salary went up from $46,592 to $48,067 with the promotion, she said.

  • Melissa Chavis

    can someone tell me why this officer was not charged? And another thing, a good officer would have stopped this from escalating.

    • Abraham Salcedo

      Policed charged? LOL

      Where do you think you are, Canada?

    • John Masters

      Exactly…they keep “unnaming” the female officer. She had an obligation to stop this, even if it required restraining this other officer, clearly out of control. Of course, she couldn’t, else she would have been the one drummed out of the department, or killed in “crossfire” at some incident. If police departments don’t change that culture, they are never going to regain the support and respect of the public. They act like their own gang.

      • Nick Nitro

        It’s called the thin blue line. There are no good cops out there. They should remember they are the servants of the people and not a paramilitary force to protect their own.

        • turtle1

          Its called sexism too. Being a woman will get you know where. its been only in 1920 that women were GIVEN the right to vote. So if she had said something different or did something different just as in Tulsa, she would be black balled and her livelihood destroyed.. He does what the same thing at home if he is married….. Silent abuse is rampant in that setting..

      • john smith

        She’s not completely innocent. She helped falsify the police report, saying the man pinned her wrist against the screen door…We can tell from the video that it never happened.

  • Abraham Salcedo

    Hellooooo?!!??!…. this is standard procedure, you’re a cop, you harass a black guy, getting him killed or arrested, then you get 3 months paid leave and a promotion.

    Move along nothing to see here.

  • Jordan Green

    We will not allow anyone to make threats, implied or otherwise on this website. I thought I had removed the offending comments, but apparently not, so I apologize for the oversight. I encourage all readers to act like adults.

  • Bill

    So neither officer has been charged?


    Cole was forced to resign and can no longer be a poilie office in North Carolina. His “promotion” (if there actually was one) was an oversight. The point of this blurb is misguided and moot considering the outcome. Justice was served. Case closed.

    • Blanche Starbong

      Justice will be served when you and your kind go to jail for your crimes. Have a good evening. Case closed.


        LMAO! Oh, so you’re implying that I’m somehow a cop, now? Man, you’re dumb. Nice job parroting my words though. I’m just stating the facts, cupcake. In the meantime, get over yourself.

  • James

    At the end of the day… seems that every online discussion winds up in people attacking each other, name calling, etc.. just goes off the rails.. I’ve read several comments by people who seem reasonable but eventually they call each other idiots and it spirals down. An hour from now someone will be attacking me for complaining about it and asking why am I here if I don’t like reading it.. blah blah blah.

    I will say one thing about the incident. It’s infuriating to me that a handful of people aren’t able to understand the frustration of being handcuffed when that person feels they haven’t done anything wrong. Sure some people would make the decision to remain calm and just let the whole thing play out.. I probably would have been calm out of fear of being shot. But, I think it’s reasonable to expect that there are times when the citizen who feels harassed is going to be a little upset. It’s just human nature. Why the lack of empathy or compassion? Innocent people aren’t able to be upset or make the mistake of standing up for themselves?

    As a african american man i have been pulled over in my own driveway. I was calm… when the officer checked out my license I think she was a bit embarrassed. I was inconvenienced for a extra 15 minutes.. but at the end of the day I didn’t get shot and killed so I suppose I am glad for that. It’s sad that I have to look at it that way.

  • Svenska J

    The officer should have been charged. This whole incident was un-called for. Any monday morning quarterbacking by pro PD needs to be shut down. The officer plain and simple did not need to escalate this situation, but did. Serious training needs to be done with law enforcement. The heavy hand is no longer acceptable.

  • Riot50000

    KKK traded the White Robe /Sheets for the Blue Uniform and a Badge.

  • CJ

    This guys salary is shockingly low.

    • Blanche Starbong

      For a criminal it is shockingly high.

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  • John Staples

    Damn cops, have the Xerxes(300 movie) complex.
    Acknowledge me, as your ”KING”, and as your ”GOD” !