Roughly a dozen officers at an Alabama police department were involved in a calculated and corrupt plot that went on for years. An internal investigation of the Dothan Police Department revealed that narcotics officers planted drugs and guns on innocent young Black men under the supervision of a lieutenant and sergeant in the department, as well as the former police chief, and Alabama’s current Asst. Director of Homeland Security.
The officers belonged to a non-confederate racial extremist group led by Lt. Steve Parrish, Sgt, Andy Hughes. Documents obtained by the Alabama Justice Project revealed an internal coverup plot to protect the aforementioned from prosecution.
Per the Henry County Report:
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.
There are two federal lawsuits currently pending by former police officers Keith Gray and Raemonica Carney against the Dothan Police Department. They will be given access as well as they substantiate their claims of racial discrimination and city’s violation of a federal court decree.
Black men with clean criminal records were specifically targeted, framed, wrongfully arrested, and then prosecuted by District Attorney Doug Valeska. Documents dating back to 1996 show that Police Chief John White ignored complaints from Black victims who said they were framed.
Two years later, a group of white cops from the Dothan Police department filed written complaints against the acts of their fellow officers. It took a year before White turned the paperwork over to the Internal Affairs Division. By 1999, more than 12 officers with complaints against them took polygraph tests, and most reportedly failed.
Meanwhile, White and Valeska broke policy by not informing state or government officials of the internal probe, in which Hughes and Parrish’s names came up frequently.
White served as police chief until 2004. Earlier this year, he accused a city commissioner of being racist.