So it turns out that even Southern state cops have their limits when it comes to racism, and that the systematic planting of evidence by cops on black men in Dothan, Alabama for the last couple of decades has finally become too much to bear.
Members of a narcotics investigation squad for the police department in Dothan, Alabama planted drugs and weapons on young black men since the mid-1990s with the approval of their superiors — one of whom is currently the state’s Assistant Director of Homeland Security.
According to the Henry County Report, Andy Hughes was a sergeant in the department while overseeing the unit. But he was also a leader in a neo-Confederate group comprised by squad members, along fellow supervisor Steve Parrish. Parrish, at the time a lieutenant, is currently the city’s police chief.
Documents obtained by the Alabama Justice Project indicate that Parrish and Hughes are frequently mentioned in an internal affairs investigation. However, then-Police Chief John White and District Attorney Doug Valeska did not notify federal or state officials regarding the probe, as is required by department policy.
What we basically have here is white supremacists running the Dothan PD, planting evidence on black men to send them to prison, and getting promoted for it. One is now chief of the Dothan PD, the other is now the state’s Assistant Director of Homeland Security. Internal affairs investigations were flat out covered up. The full story linked above is devastating as several officers have agreed to come forward to support a federal investigation.
The documents shared reveal that the internal affairs investigation was covered up to protect the aforementioned officers’ law enforcement careers and keep them from being criminally prosecuted.
Several long term Dothan law enforcement officers, all part of an original group that initiated the investigation, believe the public has a right to know that the Dothan Police Department, and District Attorney Doug Valeska, targeted young black men by planting drugs and weapons on them over a decade. Most of the young men were prosecuted, many sentenced to prison, and some are still in prison. Many of the officers involved were subsequently promoted and are in leadership positions in law enforcement. They hope the mood of the country is one that demands action and that the US Department of Justice will intervene.
The group of officers requested they be granted anonymity, and shared hundreds of files from the Internal Affairs Division. They reveal a pattern of criminal behavior from within the highest levels of the Dothan Police Department and the district attorney’s office in the 20th Judicial District of Alabama. Multiple current and former officers have agreed to testify if United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch appoints a special prosecutor from outside the state of Alabama, or before a Congressional hearing. The officers believe that there are currently nearly a thousand wrongful convictions resulting in felonies from the 20th Judicial District that are tied to planted drugs and weapons and question whether a system that allows this can be allowed to continue to operate.
Members of the Henry County Report have spent weeks analyzing the documents. The originals, secured at an N.G.O. in Canada, are being shared directly with attorneys in the U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division, and are being made available to the lawyers of those falsely convicted that seek to clear their names.
You are nuts if you think this is the only police department where this is going on, too. Once again, hundreds of black men wrongfully and systematically imprisoned by police and investigations into it were ignored or covered up. Loretta Lynch and the DoJ need to be all over this. A thousand wrongful convictions just in one Alabama city? What about the rest of the country?
It’s insanity, and it proves once again that systematic racism is alive and well in America and has been for a very, very long time.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
We really should have left William Tecumseh Sherman and his army down there a lot longer, kicking a lot more ass.
I await the FOP’s response that Blue Lives Matter, so STFU about this because it’s in the past and only criminals were hurt by it and other reasons that include thugs, t-bones, and just go fuck yourself.
Plus, SCOTUS punk Roberts said racism is a thing of the past in this country, so there’s no way this could have happened. Why would a robed judge lie to us?
Snarki, child of Loki
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: “We really should have left William Tecumseh Sherman and his army down there a lot longer”
Zombie Sherman. With nukes.
Racists have always said that having more black people in prison shows that black people commit more crimes.
Iowa Old Lady
In a bit of good news, yesterday’s mayoral runoff means my town now has its first African-American mayor.
Has someone found a spot with a clear timeline on this? Its like the examples I’m reading are from 1999. When was the report completed? Part of the scandal is that the report was never allowed to surface until now and that some of the participants are still around, have been promoted, etc. But are we talking about things that happened recently or things that happened 17 years ago? Is the first order to get the falsely imprisoned out of prison and get them recompense? Or is it so long ago that the imprisoned have already been released?
America was a post-racial utopia until Obama came in and f’ed everything up with his meanie words about cops and bankers.
I hope the department has its ass sued to Kingdom Come and these assholes go to jail for a long, long time.
“the Dothan Police Department, and District Attorney Doug Valeska”
So even the DA is corrupt? Thank goodness for the good cops who spoke up or we would never hear about this. And kudos to the NGO in Canada which is involved in trying to get scores of wrongful convictions overturned.
Can’t even say I’m shocked at this.
@Mike J: So they work their behinds off to make sure that Black people fill the jails. Some self-fulfilling prophecy they’ve got there.
@Peale: Yes, more information is needed.
SOP, because Alabama is now a one-party state.
@Luthe: Dinna hold thy breathe.
@Peale: The story said many are still in jail. And there are probably “convicted felons” who would like their records purged since studies consistently show that employers are unwilling to hire people convicted of felonies. And of course, that employer tendency is much worse for black men.
So I don’t care if it was 20 years ago. It should be remedied now.
Sounds like the chances of a convicted felon ever getting to vote again are slim to nonexistent in Alabama. The chances of Congress coming to an agreement regarding enforcement of the voting rights act as recommended by the Supreme Court are also nil. So in addition to destroying many lives and families the good old boys also got to tilt some elections. Now that’s some awesome southern heritage.
What if a thousand people, ten thousand people, printed out that story and mailed it to Chief Justice Roberts?
Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
OT: Another mass shooting happening now in California. 20 victims reported in San Bernardino. “active shooter” still present.
Mass shooting in San Bernardino, looks bad.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Snarki, child of Loki: Even better.
The breadth of the conspiracy is astounding. Ringleaders of this criminal operation have been variously the Dothan DA, the Dothan Chief of Police, and the State Department of Homeland Security head, and it’s gone on 20 years. What’s worse, I doubt this is the full extent of the evil and corruption.
Another day, another mass shooting in the US of A.
San Bernardino, CA. Early reports of 20 victims, but no numbers on killed/wounded.
Another multiple shooting, active shooter, situation. This time in San Bernardino.
Jesus, this country.
You posted while I was typing. This is sounding bad.
@Cacti: Just read 12 confirmed fatalities.
Suspects reported as heavily armed, possibly wearing body armor.
SWAT has the area locked down.
@Cacti: “Suspects?” Plural?
Witness reports of up to 3.
Lives RUINED because of lies from POLICE.
Not only them, but their FAMILIES.
I went to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution webpage to see what they thought of this situation right under their noses in Georgia… crickets…
If you go to the Henry County Report article in the link, I’ll tell you it’s kind of long, but well-sourced with scans of lots of documents. Stay the hell out of the comments, though, unless you have a hazmat suit at the ready.
@rikyrah: That’s how you keep them down.
It’s the under the covers Jim Crow. Along with the attack on voting rights and the myriad of other hidden economic injustices such as red lining and mortgage discrimination.
@daverave: Nor will you. (The AJC is too busy trying to put all of the African-Americans on the Atlanta School Board and the DeKalb County Commission in jail.)
They had to secure the documents in CANADA. Our system is so corrupt top to bottom that the exonerating original docs had to be kept safe in a foreign country.
Chew on that.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: I just read about Sherman the other day. He marched across Georgia, in the other direction. Once the march ruined the Deep South’s will and ability to fight, what good would additional damage have done?
What should’ve happened is a much more prolonged, intense Reconstruction. Fuck Andrew Johnson.
@redoubt: Nobody said they HAD to put the records in Canada. Seems like good sense, though.
Paul in KY
And people wonder, ‘why would black people have any reason to hate white people’
Paul in KY
@rikyrah: Makes me very angry & very sad.
What drives me especially nuts about this kind of thing is the reflexive assumption that a policeman’s (or -woman’s) word is gold. It’s bad enough among the ordinary dipshits who populate much of our country, but in court it’s worse!
They’re people! People lie sometimes!
@Paul in KY: I coulda used that broad brush painting the house this weekend.
I grew up in Georgia near Dothan in the 90s. The Dothan PD was notorious for arresting black people, then driving them across the GA border and dumping them in the middle of nowhere with strict instructions not to come back.
Another Holocene Human
Another Holocene Human
I found the obsessive posts about race-mixing HI-larious, in a “I’m glad you’re a state away from me” kind of way.
Seriously, though. Those comments are why AL can’t have nice things.
Another Holocene Human
@GG: At least they dumped them alive. (And it’s oddly familiar: Jupiter PD is infamous for picking up homeless people, running them across the county line, and telling them not to come back here in Florida).
I know a ‘Bama native who had a cousin who was disappeared by local police. I don’t recall the area because the name meant nothing to me at the time. She carries a piece in her car to this day.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: and then had him march on Chicago, with fire and steel.
C’mon, we all know those boogies (breakin out some 70’s style racism. Makes me want to put a Poco album on the turntable, and light up a doobie!) were guilty of something. Thank Jeebus I live in Chicago where the cops aren’t at all racist.
Paul in KY
@Marmot: Feel free to borrow it anytime.