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10Investigates: Clinton police officer fired for putting GPS scrambler in his cruiser, faces decertification

The Clinton Police Department is trying to pull Christopher McKinney's certification to work as a police officer in Tennessee.

CLINTON, Tenn. — A Clinton police officer was fired from his job for putting a GPS scrambler in his patrol vehicle. When confronted, Officer Christopher McKinney said he did it because his dad listened to conservative commentator Alex Jones. 

McKinney's internal affairs file said on Sept. 7, 2022, Clinton Police Chief Vaughn Becker told Lt. Carl Bailey and Lt. Larry Miller that officer Christopher McKinney's GPS unit wasn't showing up on the system. 

On Sept. 9, 2022, Lt. Miller and Lt. Bailey confronted Officer McKinney and asked why his GPS device wasn't working, according to a narrative written by Lt. Bailey. 

"I approached his vehicle unit #2214 and observed a small black device with an antenna plugged into a power port," Lt. Bailey's narrative said.

Dashcam video from the confrontation shows Officer McKinney telling Lt. Bailey the device was a "5G extender." 

"He stated he had gotten it from his father. He said his father was a conspiracy theorist and he listens to Alex Jones 5G is bad for you," Lt. Bailey said in the investigation file. 

Later that month, Chief Becker sent a letter to Officer McKinney advising him the department was opening an internal investigation of his conduct. The investigation concluded Officer McKinney was untruthful and altered records knowingly and willingly, a summary letter from Lt. Bailey said. 

"I request Officer McKinney be terminated from his position with the Clinton Police Department," Lt. Bailey wrote in that letter. 

McKinney was previously reprimanded for skipping mandatory training and driving his vehicle at 109 mph. 

The Clinton City School District also complained Officer McKinney was eating with his girlfriend in school every day while he was an SRO at Clinton Elementary.

"One teacher reported that she witnessed her rubbing his leg while visiting," an email from Kelly Johnson, the director of schools, said in an email to the City of Clinton. 

Johnson also said Officer McKinney was sitting in his girlfriend's car in the parking lot while a student was trying to run out the back door. 

The Clinton Police Department is trying to pull Officer McKinney's state certification allowing him to work as a police officer. A hearing is set for June. 

10News tried to reach Chris McKinney for a comment on this story. He did not respond. 

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