‘I wouldn't even let him be a mall cop’; Whistleblowers call JBLM's police system broken

Civilian police officers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) are questioning the actions of their superiors, after a video of a former officer surfaced showing him grab a female soldier, pin her against a wall, and appear to take multiple swipes at her face.

Whistleblowers say the video depicts a clear example of assault. They also believe it was buried, which allowed the officer involved in the incident to move onto a more prominent job outside the military.

That officer, now employed by the Department of Homeland Security, will now have a better chance of encountering the public.

"It shouldn’t have happened," said a civilian officer, who asked that FOX 13 News not identify him out of fear of retaliation.

"What I’ve heard is that they knew," he continued. "They brushed it off as no big deal."

Those who have seen the video at JBLM tell FOX 13 News that the words "excessive force" never appear in the case report. When FOX 13 asked about it, a JBLM spokesperson declined to answer, instead offering a two-sentence response after requesting an extension to review the situation.

With no explanation, that public affairs officer simply notes the incident is "closed."

The situation unfolded in May 2023. A female soldier was sent to the civilian police department for what whistleblowers called "a minor infraction."

Sgt. Timothy Scholl, the officer depicted in the video, told FOX 13 that he was attempting to obtain a DNA sample. The soldier refused.

"She got under my skin a bit," Scholl said by phone when contacted by FOX 13.

According to Scholl, she clenched her jaw and refused to allow him to take a DNA sample with a swab. He called it frustrating, and said it "got the best of him."

In the video, you see the female soldier's head pinned against the wall. Other officers who reviewed the video say that what is depicted—a series of swipes at her head and a flurry of moves as she remains seated—is an assault.

"If someone refuses a DNA sample, which is mandatory per the Department of Defense for soldiers, the easiest way to do it is to release them to their unit and tell the unit to bring them back the next day," said one officer.

Another noted, they could hold them in a detention cell, then get a warrant that would allow medical staff to take the sample.

"A cooler head would have prevailed in that situation," said the second officer who outranked Scholl.


  • Dec. 2019 – Hired as a "supervisory police officer" AKA Patrol Sergeant
  • Dec. 22, 2020 – Probation Period ends
  • Dec. 24, 2020 – Violated a civilian’s Civil Rights, sent to training
  • April 2021 – completes DACP Academy
  • May 2021 – Begins FTO (Field Training Officer) Program
  • June 11, 2021 – Phase II of FTO extended after not meeting criteria
  • June 26, 2021 – Attempted an unlawful arrest again. Stopped by training officer
  • July 2, 2021 – Put on Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)
  • July 19, 2021 – Phase III of FTO extended after not meeting criteria
  • July 26, 2021 – Placed on the "Do Not Arm" list
  • July 28, 2021 – Review Board votes unanimously to terminate Scholl's training
  • Jan. 20, 2022 – Counseling letter indicates he failed to meet two policies
  • May 2023 – Incident captured on video takes place

The officers that spoke up and alerted FOX 13 of their concerns say there are questions over whether Scholl should have been in that room at the time of the incident.

In fact, it appears that superiors within JBLM’s civilian police force believed Scholl was incapable of doing his job before the May 2023 incident ever took place. In documents obtained by FOX 13, superior officers documented a number of troubling instances involving Scholl.

One training officer wrote: "I feel that Scholl will continue to be a liability to himself, co-workers and the agency if continued without a re-evaluation."

The issues began in late 2021. Scholl, who had previously worked as a police officer at Naval Base Kitsap Police Department, had been hired as a sergeant within days of his probation period ending.

As officers explained to FOX 13, his role would be that of a supervisory officer. Beyond that, military police officers (MPs) would be looking to him for guidance, as civilian officers receive additional training.

However, in late 2021, Scholl was told to "f--k off" as he approached a civilian walking along a public road near a JBLM training ground.

That led to what Scholl would later describe in his own words documented through JBLM records as a "serious error"—a violation of that woman’s civil rights by illegally detaining her.

A superior, the patrol division chief, would later write: "due to his lack of understanding of fundamental police practices and concepts, Sgt. Scholl was not fully prepared for the position of a competent police officer, not to mention a lead police officer."

That decision led to Scholl being sent back to the academy for training. Upon completion, he was signed up for field officer training in 2022. Within a few months, he had taken part in a similar scenario as to what had played out that landed him in hot water to begin with.

By then, multiple field training officers had held him back in training over concerns of his knowledge of policy, knowledge of procedure and officer safety. A memo was even sent out to not arm Scholl at one point in time.

That led to a review board making the decision to terminate Scholl’s training in July 2022. The document explained that Scholl had an inability to retain or respond to the training provided.

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Scholl told FOX 13 that the woman in the video refused to open her mouth, so he was trying to get a DNA swab "a different way."

Over a 15-plus minute phone call, he described how he got frustrated. It’s a word that was used frequently by those who spoke with FOX 13.

"Any time he is frustrated, or things don’t go a specific order, you can see that frustration develop," his one-time superior officer said. "So, he’s not an easy-tempered person."

But on that day, he was in charge. And when FOX 13 tracked down the female soldier depicted in that video, she expressed shock that the video even existed.

She said it was a rough day, and that she’d been crying for the better part of the morning. She declined to describe the infraction that led her to the small room where police officers take breathalyzers and DNA samples. She said Scholl appeared in charge, noting other officers and MPs stood by silently watching.

"I feel the system I should be protected by didn’t protect me," she said. "It’s unfortunate I was the person that was hurt in the end."

That soldier had joined the military with high hopes. She has since left the military after her own timeline of events that reached a peak that day. Looking at the video months removed from her service, she said the video felt like a form of PTSD, saying that it brought back a lot of ugly memories of that day.

She spoke with FOX 13, but asked that we didn’t use her name. She said that she is hopeful she can move on.

"I don’t think I can," she said. "I think it’ll be part of me forever."


Scholl is currently training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He told FOX 13 that it’s part of his training for Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he will be working at federal buildings for what’s known as the Federal Protective Services.

It’s unclear whether any of the concerning behaviors documented at JBLM would have been relayed to DHS. Emails to DHS inquiring whether they were aware of Scholl’s past never received a response.

FOX 13 also requested information from JBLM about whether that information about Scholl’s performance, whether he was ever punished for the situation that unfolded in May, and if they relayed any of the documented concerns to DHS.

After asking for additional time to respond, JBLM’s Public Affairs office missed their own deadline, noting that lawyers needed to review their response.

They eventually replied without answering the questions—instead, they replied with two sentences and recommended we reach out to Homeland Security:

"In response to the questions sent over on Friday, this incident involving a former police officer with the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Directorate of Emergency Services was reviewed, investigated and closed," they wrote. "We have no further comment."

The people who risked their careers to make sure Scholl’s behaviors were documented in public tell FOX 13 that the public should be concerned. They believe that this is just one example of a broken police system that could endanger the public.

Asked about those who question whether Scholl should be allowed to have a badge, he seemed agitated and told FOX 13 that those people shouldn’t have a badge, either.

Given time to explain what he meant, he described that if they’re who he believed they were, they’ve had their own issues as police officers.

He was also asked whether the female soldier was owed an apology for having her head pinned against the wall, he paused for several seconds before a clear and decisive: "No."

"As a person, I’ve never had an issue with him as a person," the second whistleblower said. "Professional-wise? I wouldn’t even let him be a mall cop."