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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.
While multiple black defendants were reportedly accusing local police of widespread evidence planting as far back as 1996, the department allegedly ignored complaints from white officers when they began to surface two years later. A group of more than a dozen officers were told about the internal affairs probe into allegations of false arrests and evidence-planting, as seen in the document below. Most of them failed a subsequent polygraph test.
Despite this, however, Valeska continued to prosecute cases involving the illicit activity without notifying the defendants’ attorneys regarding the allegation.
Author: Arturo Garcia