Police Recruit Dies During Routine Training

(StraightNews.org) – A Tennessee police recruit has died during routine training. Wisbens Antoine collapsed at the end of a mile-and-a-half run, and was immediately administered with life-saving care before being transported to hospital. Over the weekend of February 25, however, his condition deteriorated, and the 32-year-old died on Sunday at 4 am.

Mr. Antoine was a member of the 2023-B Basic Recruit Class in Knoxville Police Department and entered the police academy last September. He was set to graduate this March, along with 18 classmates, but Police Chief Paul Noel decided to swear Antoine in as a full police officer during his hospitalization.

Mr. Noel said, “There was no better way to honor his service and his sacrifice to the department and the community than to make him a police officer.”

The cause of Mr. Antoine’s demise is not yet understood, but his death marks the third for Knoxville law enforcement officers in February. On the 15th, Kenneth DeHart appeared in court charged with the first-degree murder of Deputy Greg McCowan and the shooting of Deputy Shelby Eggers during a traffic stop a week earlier. Hundreds of people lined the city’s streets to pay homage to Mr. McCowan, and DeHart is due in court again in March.

Also in February, Deputy Robert “R.J.” Leonard, a Meigs County Sheriff’s Office rookie, attended a disturbance on the Highway 60 bridge but quickly lost communication and went missing. Rescuers pulled his vehicle from the Tennessee River with a woman’s body in the back seat – believed to be a woman he arrested on the bridge. The Deputy’s body was recovered soon afterward.

Initial investigations suggested Leonard was unfamiliar with the area and took a wrong turn in the dark, ending up in the river. Hamilton County Sheriff Austin Garrett said his windows were down, and noted, “With the window down, the car is going to sink faster.” Deputy Leonard left behind a wife and three small children.

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