There is something odd about this whole thing that no one is addressing. First, the local paper did not report on this incident until the indictment came down some six months later. As a taxpaying citizen of Tallapoosa Co. I find that very disturbing. Isn't it the paper's duty to inform the public about things of this nature?
I wrote Kevin Taylor the editor of the Outlook and asked him the following questions last week when this story first came to light....
About the local officer indicted on police brutality charges...this happened in October of 2007...yet not a word was uttered in the Outlook until the indictment was handed down. I searched the archives only two relevant stories came up and both of them are from today.
Was this deliberately kept from the taxpayers of Alexander City? Did the Outlook not find it important enough to mention that one of our officers brutalized a handcuffed suspect so badly that he had to be airlifted to UAB? To me...that is pretty big news. I want to know why the good people of this city are just now being informed of this whole incident?
Regular citizens who engage in such conduct have their names printed in the paper almost immediately...and drug suspects even faster than that...yet this guy gets to keep a low profile for some six months...because....why?
To date I have not received an answer to those questions.
I also wanted to look at the Alexander City Police Departments personnel policy.
This Mitchell Ray cat, who allegedly beat a handcuffed race fan so badly that he had to be airlifted to UAB, remained employed on the ACPD force for six months after that incident occurred. I mean...our tax dollars pay that cops salary...didn't the citizens have a right to know and the paper a duty to inform? I want to know what the policy is regarding officer misconduct and when said misconduct automatically triggers leave...paid or otherwise. If this officer had been caught with drugs what would his punishment have been? If he had been accused of something more sinister like child molestation would he have been allowed to remain on the force for six months? Why does a brutality charge where the victim had to be airlifted to UAB not automatically trigger leave? Or does it?
I was instructed to call the Mayor's office and ask how to obtain a copy. The secretary told me I would have to call the chief of police. So, I called the chief. Their suspicions were immediately raised when I asked for a copy of their personnel policy. They put me on hold. A few minutes later a lady came back on the line and asked for my name. They don't need my name...just to tell me where to get a copy of the personnel policy of the local police department. But, since they already suspect something is up I told them my name. Placed on hold again. The lady comes back a few minutes later and says I will have to talk to the chief of police and he is on the other line.
I'll call him back in a few minutes and see what he says.
I believe that police department personnel policy should be public information that is readily available. There should be no run-around, no stalling, no investigating me because I am asking. Just hand me the damn personnel policy, Ok? I better have one in hand by the end of the day.