Sunday, February 06, 2011

Goodwater Cop Shoots Unarmed Man on Crutches

On Feb. 3, 2011 an unarmed man with a broken hip, who was using crutches to walk was shot by Goodwater, AL police officer for arguing with Judge Carlton Teel. There are numerous news articles on the incident. But they are all conflicting.

Witnesses in the courtroom say that Brian Keith Ford was upset at the huge fine levied against him for a misdemeanor charge. He, according to someone who knows him, could only pay half. When the judge refused his request he asked to speak to his girlfriend, which the judge denied. Mr. Ford became upset and he and Judge Teel got into a yelling match. Cops, the judge and lawyers in the courtroom claim that Ford went for the judges gun, which was under his robes and not visible. They also say he grabbed the judge. A Goodwater police officer on security duty in the courtroom then shot Ford once in the stomach and when he was on the ground shot him again in the side.

Witnesses in the courtroom that do not work for the city, the state and who are not lawyers tell a very different story.

They say that there was no gun, Ford never went for any gun, that it was simply a yelling match between the judge and Ford. They said Ford was loud and unruly but didn't do anything to deserve to be shot twice.

Obviously, there are some questions about why this man was shot.

Now, I've had the misfortune of being in that courtroom when the current Judge Teel's older brother, Robert, was judge in 2000. Back then Judge Robert Teel routinely jailed everyone who was unable to pay a fine for misdemeanors. I was jailed for not forking over nearly $800 for a misdemeanor traffic ticket. They refuse to work out any sort of payment arrangements with anyone. If you don't have the money right then and there then you are made to sit along the wall until court is over and then you are taken downstairs to jail. It is the only court I have ever been in that refused to work with people on fines. Considering that Goodwater is a severely economically depressed area (there is one small factory there) I have always found that very odd and well...cruel. I also think it is illegal. I encourage you to read what happened to me in that courtroom. It appears that the current Judge Teel has followed in Robert's footsteps, because according to some of the news stories he, too, is making those unable to pay huge fines for minor offenses sit along the wall (on the floor) until they can be taken to jail, (which is a horrible hole downstairs).

Goodwater is a strange place as far as the legal community goes. It's like an incestuous cabal of related judges and lawyers who run the whole town. The Teel's father was at one time a State Representative. His three sons, Robert, Frank, and Carlton currently control Goodwater. Robert used to be the judge and he retired. Frank Teel is the Asst. DA who was arrested by the ABI for extortion in May of 2010. And Carlton Teel is the current municipal judge. They are white. The vast majority of Goodwater residents are black.

There are some major questions that need to be asked in this case.

1) A Judge sits on an elevated platform where it would be nearly impossible to put ones hands on him. There are some steps to climb to get to the judge. Are we really to believe that this man, with a broken hip and walking on crutches, actually made it past security, up the steps and to the judge before a cop could stop him?

2) Some news outlets are reporting that Ford "tried to forcibly obtain a firearm" that was under the Judge's robe. If it was under his robe then how did Ford know it was there? If it was under his robe then it wasn't visible. A different news outlet is reporting that he tried to take the gun from the cop. And yet another news outlet is reporting that Teel pulled the gun and Ford tried to take it away from him. The ABI is going with Ford trying to take it from the judge after the judge pulled it. Witnesses in the courtroom say there was never a gun except the one Ford was shot with.

3) Are cops in Goodwater so poorly trained that they can't take down a guy with a broken hip who is using crutches to walk?

And there is this oddball story about how Ford got his hip broke in an alleged police chase. Problem is, the police who were reportedly chasing him have said there was no such chase. And, I have questions about this paragraph.

“A Goodwater police officer informed (the trooper) that ACPD was in pursuit of a vehicle that was traveling North on Alabama 9 and he was waiting on the chase to enter his jurisdiction but ACPD called off the pursuit,” the report states. “The Goodwater police officer traveled South on Alabama 9 to try and locate the vehicle and came upon the wreck with the driver still inside. The GWPD police officer believes that the vehicle was the one ACPD was chasing but can’t prove it.”


Now, the ACPD is the Alexander City Police Department. Their jurisdiction is within the city limits, although they do sometimes help the Tallapoosa Sheriff's Dept. out in the county. Highway 9 is in an entirely different county. The part of it referenced in that paragraph is in Coosa County headed toward Clay County. ACPD wouldn't have been anywhere near there as it is way out of their jurisdiction. If it was already on Hwy 9 N. then it would have been well within the jurisdiction of Goodwater PD and Coosa Co. Sheriff's dept. and they would have been giving chase.

Either the ACPD is lying because they were giving chase outside their jurisdiction, or the Goodwater PD is lying because they want to paint this unarmed man they shot as a really bad person....which he might be, but that doesn't justify shooting him when he is unarmed.

The ABI is merely parroting what the Judge, lawyers and cop who fired the shots are saying. Seriously, their statement is almost literally "What They Said", with 'they' being the Judge, cop and lawyers. What about what the eye witnesses who have all said something very different? Does their version not count because they are just common folk?

This case needs to be watched very closely. The municipal court in Goodwater needs to be investigated for jailing people for merely being unable to pay a fine and for refusing to work out payment arrangements. I know that Leeds and at least one more city recently got sued for that practice. The plaintiffs won. It is illegal to jail people on non-jailable offenses for being unable to pay fines. It amounts to debtors prison.

The cop needs to be fired and barred from ever working as a police officer again. Anywhere. Chances are he won't be though. Seems that most places just pass bad cops on from one department to another, like pedophile priests. That is what I've heard regarding this cop already. Nothing is done about them until someone gets killed or brutalized...and even then it is rare that anything is done to them .


Stay tuned for new developments.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

GETTEM LORETTA!! I GOT YA BACK. LOL...TIME FOR A CHANGE IN COOSA COUNTY. TIME FOR THE COUNTY TO BE OPERATE BASED ON REAL LAWS..NOT BASED ON THE TEEL LAW. WHAT OTHER REDNECK JUDGE PULLS HIS GUN IN HIS COURTROOM?GUESS HE DIDNT HAVE FAITH IN HIS SECURITY OFFICER.. MY BAD HIS TRIGGER HAPPY BADGE WEARING WEAK POLICE LOL..YOU ITS ONE THING TO SHOT BAD GUYS THAT HAVE KILLED OTHERS AND THREATING MORE LIVES AND YES FIRING AT THE WEAK POLICE FIRST..BUT TO SHOOT A RAGING PISSED MAN ON CRUTCHES THAT WAS POSSIBLY FIGHTING WITH THE REDNECK JUDGE OVER HIS GUN TO KEEP THE CRAZY JUDGE FROM SHOOTING INNOCENT PEOPLE. ITS FUNNY HOW ALL THE WHITE OFFICIALS HAVE A DIFFERENT STORY FROM EYE WITNESSES IN THE COURTROOM. OH WELL THIS TIME TEELS CRAP CANT BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG LIKE IT DIDNT HAPPEN...WHAT A SHAME THAT THIS GUY POSSIBLY LOST HIS LIFE BUT THANK GOD FOR THIS CRAZY INCIDENT AND HOPEFULLY THIS IS A START TO CLEANING OUT THE TRASH IN THE COOSA COUNTYS COURTROOMS AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS.

sixstring said...

If a judge,cop, and lawyers say it's so, then it's so, even if God( I know, you don't believe in God, but just for arguments sake) says otherwise much less common folk, Are you kidding?
If the judge had a gun,it sounds like he was a danger to everyone in the courtroom. How did a guy with a broken hip, wielding a crutch, get close enough to grab the gun before the judge shot him or security stopped him? Just think if had been a young able bodied person with serious anger problems.

Anonymous said...

-The judges gun wasn't "under his robe". It was located on top of his bench. Ford saw the judge get his gun after Ford tried to hit the judge with one crutches. Ford jumped on the judges bench and grabbed the gun. Ford and the judge struggled with the gun.

-Bryant Keith Ford is a CRIMINAL with a long criminal history... LOOK IT UP

-Your "misdemeanor" traffic ticket was for not having liability insurance. IS THAT NOT AGAINST THE LAW???? Do the crime... or pay the fine... or do the time... YOUR CHOICE!!

-Why should the court work with ANYONE for payment arrangements?? It was YOUR choice not to abide by the law. The government is not a financial institution... or maybe you are one of those people that thinks the government the owes you something.

-Goodwater is a severely depressed area and the courts should give the people a break for BREAKING THE LAW???? GIVE ME A BREAK.

-How do the three Teel brothers CONTROL Goodwater??? Robert Jr. (Bob) is retired... Frank has NOTHING to do with Goodwater (he practices in Rockford). Carlton is the judge who upholds the law and imposes the fines... which he was ELECTED to do by the people of COOSA COUNTY.

-Look up the records of the "eye witnesses" (Willams family) in this case... they are regular visitors of the Goodwater court system and have been for years.

-The police officer was there to protect the citizens and he did his job WELL.

-With Ford's CRIMINAL history and at his irate state, what do you think would have happened if he had been successful in his attempt in getting the gun from the judge?? How many lives would have been lost?? DO YOU EVEN CARE??

-You behave as an animal and you should be treated as such.

mdm-adph said...

"Seems that most places just pass bad cops on from one department to another, like pedophile priests."

That's actually a really apt description.

Loretta Nall said...

Anonymous......So, You're actually telling us that Judge Teel keeps a gun on top of the bench where anybody he happens to piss off can grab it an open fire? And you thought that would help his case with the public. Christ you must be even stupider than you appear in your post...which is unbelievably stupid. Probably as stupid as the judge who keeps a gun in plain view in MUNICIPAL court where most cases are traffic violations.

The judicial inquiry commission will love hearing about that. I think I'll start working on my complaint to them right now. And don't bother telling Teel to hide the gun...if what you are saying is true there will be loads of witnesses.

sixstring said...

Not just anybody he pisses off can grab it and open fire. Apparently, he was able to manage a tie to getting to the gun with a guy on crutches that had a broken hip. So only those a bit quicker than this defendant would be able to just grab it and open fire. Hope that makes you feel safer in his courtroom.

Anonymous said...

Are you high?

If the judge has a permit, he sure can have a gun. And if he "pisses" (your verbiage) someone off enough to do him bodily harm, as the case was last Thursday, he can use it or the baliff can handle the situation.

You would be surprised at the high percentage of judges that have a gun on the bench with them. No law against it here.

Hahahaha... Don't you think the ABI's got the gun? From what I saw Teel doesn't have anything to hide.

Please, please right a complaint to the judicial inquiry commission. I'm sure you'll give them a laugh! You are the biggest joke in Clay/Coosa County!! You keep everyone shaking in their boots. hahahahaha

Getting back to the CRIMINAL in this incident (which you completely avoided in your response). He has a kidnapping charge & attempted murder charge that he is out on bond for now. NOTHING BUT A LOW LIFE CRIMINAL!!

As for the eye witnesses to the incident, one has only been out of prison for a couple of months and has several theft charges against him since being released. Other eye witnesses... crack head... crack head... crack dealer... etc. So if that's who you want to believe in this case... KEEP DREAMING and keep smoking your DOPE!! It's obviously killed many of your brain cells.

Anonymous said...

Just another story of police stupidity. America has a problem when guns are allowed in a court room, ANY courtroom. Sounds like this Goodwater is a real backwards place. I feel sorry for Loretta living in such an ancient civilization.

Police officers are NOT there to protect the public, they are there to TERRORIZE the public. Especially the crippled public.

I watched Mississippi Burning the other day, and I imagine Goodwater is a very similar type of place. If you put uneducated apes, ijnto uniforms, this is what happens.

Good luck!!!!!!!!

Ryan said...

Good point by -Anonymous, Laws are laws; if you do the crime then you pay the fine/do the time... otherwise you will be shot by trigger-happy, power-tripping thugs called police officers.

MaxShelby said...

Loretta,

We've linked your article in one of ours.

You Can't Fix Stupid

Thank you so much for exposing the Teels and what really goes on in Goodwater.

Max Shelby
Vincent Alabama Confidential

Loretta Nall said...

The following was posted on my facebook page by the older brother of Judge John E Rochester who just retired as district judge in the circuit where this shooting happened.

Richard Ceburn Rochester
please excuse me, i know this is not the same post that i'm addressing but please do report evil judge teel to the feds. insist on an investigation. he & his family are long afflicted. the teel of thirty years ago had a good old time collecting money and sentencing needy people to 'Detroit therapy'. his court would rule that the defendant be sent 'home to his family' and the court would force the accused onto a greyhound bus with a one-way ticket to Detroit. he was told that his cousin or uncle would be meeting him. when the accused (of vagrancy, public drunkenness) said that he'd no known relatives in Detroit, judge teel and his d.a. would insist that he actually did and that the arrangements were all made. this got a lot of yuk-yuks from those courthouse insiders who knew what teel was doing. they never considered turning him in. old-racist-boy-network. may they burn in hell.

Now I've been on the phone with the President of the AL NAACP and have left messages for Rep. Alvin Holmes who got the NAACP involved.

I spent about an hour at a local service station this morning talking to Goodwater residents. The wife of the shooting victim is ging to call me later. We have a meeting planned for Wed night at St James church which I will be attending.

I wish the dumbass cop who posted that a man with a broken hip jumped the bench (yeah right) and tried to take the gun that he says the judge had laying on top of the bench where anyone could get it. But he's chicken shit and would never be courageous enough to leave us his real name.

Loretta Nall said...

Anon....No where did I say that a judge couldn't have a gun in the courtroom. What I did say is that I don't think they can have it laying on the bench clearly visible and easily accessible to anyone who might take a notion to grab it and open fire. That is completely irresponsible. Plus it is intimidating to those who are there accused but not convicted of anything.

We'll see who is right and who is wrong after this Saturday's meeting at the St. James AME church where there are numerous groups coming to investigate what happened here.

And do you really expect anyone to believe that a man with a broken hip JUMPED the bench and grabbed the gun? And you think I'm high? High I may be but stupid I am not. You clearly can't claim that.

I don't suppose I will see you Saturday at the church but I can promise you this. After it's all said and done Goodwater will no longer be able to lock up people in misdemeanor civil cases for being unable to pay a fine. Look up the recent case in Irondale. Funny how a 'stoner' like me knows more about the law than someone like you who is obviously employed in that field.

And we will see who gets the last laugh in Coosa County and Clay County. My money is on me.

Robby Scott Hill said...

I think that when we have armed deputies herding ordinary folks through metal detectors & disarming them of all weapons at the courthouse door, no one including the judges, prosecutors or bailiffs should be able to carry firearms inside the courtroom.

Anonymous said...

First, I hope your daughter is okay, that was pretty scary yesterday. Please update here when you get a chance.

1. (Ret.) Judge John Rochester does not have an older brother.

2. (Ret.) Judge John Rochester did not retire as District Judge he was the Circuit Judge.

3. Don't see where anyone posted that the gun was clearly visible to anyone in the courtroom during proceedings.

4. If (Ret.) Judge Robert Teel, Jr. did this "Detroit Therapy" hallucination why wasn't he reported back in the late 70's & 80's?

God Almighty Loretta, people are not going to take you seriously when you continue to post obvious untruths.

Have you gone to Rockford or tried to get in touch with Judge Carlton Teel to get his side of the story?

Have you talked to the policeman that shot Ford? If you had done your research (and wanted to report the truth) you would know that the SAME policeman that shot Ford is the SAME policeman that saved his life a few weeks earlier. This stems from the accident Ford had while running from the Alexander City Police Department.

No, you have only talked with the criminals in this case. You criminals stick together like glue.

Great entertainment for me while I'm on break eating a donut.

Loretta Nall said...

Anon

1- This post doesn't mention Rochester at all. It only talks about the Teel's. Rochester's brother is mentioned in the comments I think.

2- Refer to #1

3- Refer to the third comment in this thread

4- Who says it wasn't? I'm merely telling my readers what Rochester's brother told me.


As for trying to talk to Teel, no I haven't bothered because I know (as you should) that there is an ongoing investigation and he is prohibited from speaking about it.

And no one has said who the cop that fired the shots is and since he is also under investigation even if I knew who it was he would also be prohibited from talking to me.

Actually, I haven't seen anywhere that the same cop who shot Ford is the same cop who chased him or came up on him after he wrecked. What I have seen in the AC Outlook is that the cop(s) at the GWPD said ACPD was chasing him up Hwy 9 N (way out of their jurisdiction), which the ACPD denies they were doing and that a Goodwater cop (doesn't say it was the same one who shot him) who was waiting for the chase to enter his jurisdiction (which if it was already on HWY 9 N it would have already been in his jurisdiction) when he came upon the wrecked car.

I've talked to the people available to talk to in this case. I've talked to witnesses in the courtroom who all have the same story which is very different from the one the cop, judge and lawyers have told.

And this case is about way more than Mr. Ford being shot. It is about how people are treated and have been treated for years in the Goodwater municipal courtroom. My comments at the church would have included that but, as you mentioned, my daughter fell ill and I had to cut it short.

And us 'criminals' have nothing on sticking together as compared to you boys in blue when you are trying to cover up your own criminal acts.

Go eat some more donuts and try a little reading comprehension while you are at it. On second thought forget the reading comprehension....stupid cops are much funnier.

Loretta Nall said...

Anon...I see the comment in which I referred to Rochester as the 'district' judge who recently retired in the circuit where this happened. Honest mistake. All other posts on this blog that mention Rochester (and there are many) refer to him as Circuit Judge.

And, yes, believe it or not, Ret. Judge John E. Rochester does have an older brother named Richard. He also had a sister named Angela who died in a tragic car accident.

sixstring said...

Oh,"criminals, crack heads, etc." who are witnesses in this case are all telling lies? What is their motivation to lie?
Why would anyone take the word of Judge,cop, or lawyer over a criminal? Cops are trained to lie. it's an accepted investigative technique. Lawyers are trained to manipulate the truth.
I would give more weight to a story from a "criminal" who has no motive to lie than to a cop or judge who does, as in this case, have such a motive.

Anonymous said...

Loretta, I can tell you firsthand about Coosa County and their "court" system. In the '90s, I was arrested in my own home for possession of less than ONE GRAM of marjiuana. At that time, Robert Teel was the judge and his BROTHER Frank was the DA. Talk about incest - this was "judicial incest". The ABI told me that their setup was, indeed, ILLEGAL, but that they had no authority to do anything about it(?)

Robert Teel sentenced me to six months for the possession charge, as I smelled the bourbon on his breath blowing in my face. I finally got the six-month sentence dropped to six months of weekends, then never returned to Coosa County again - for anything. The first thing I did was go to the FBI 2121 Building in Birmingham and spill my guts about what I knew about then-Sheriff Bill Evans' involvement in the Coosa Co. pot trade, (a monthly pot-dealer payoff scheme). (The FBI wanted dealer's names - but they were FAR more interested in Evans, and of course I refused to go there). Guess what? The possession charge disappeared. Totally. Completely. I've been pulled over umpteen times, had to go to custody court several times, and my name and SSN have been called in for every traffic stop. My wife even called the Coosa Co. Sheriff's department (under false pretenses of course), and told them I wanted to turn myself in for not returning to do those weekends. Guess what again? They had no record of me at ALL. None. The last time I saw Robert Teel was on Hwy. 280 in Sylacauga, on a Sunday morning. he was staggering across the highway from the motel to his car which was in the Wal-Mart parking lot. His shirt was hanging out on one side, and he was obviously still very intoxicated from a long night of drinking.

Wonder where Robert Teel is now? OH, that's right. HELL.

Loretta Nall said...

Thanks for sharing your experience in Goodwater Anon. It sounds about spot on.

I haven't heard another word about what is happening in the case of the guy who was shot. I know that he was released from the hospital a couple weeks ago and is seeking legal representation for a civil and possibly criminal suit. I hope he files and kicks their asses over what happened to him.

As for Robert Teel...he is such an evil bastard. I don't know where he is now. I've heard conflicting stories. He's still around I think but no longer on the bench.