We see it all the time in cop shows, where a defense attorney tries to uncover the conspiracy to frame his client. But, does that happen in real life? According to a news article, documents were uncovered by the Alabama Justice Project which purported indicate widespread scheme within the Dothan Police Department to plant drugs and weapons on innocent young black men.
Accusations against the Dothan Police
According to reports, a specialized narcotics team was accused of planting drugs and weapons on innocent suspects for nearly two decades. Reportedly 12 officers were involved in the scheme dating back to 1996. Most of the suspects involved were ultimately prosecuted and imprisoned. It is also asserted that police department officials were aware of these abuses as part of an internal investigation. In fact, the District Attorney was reportedly aware of written statements from police officers admitting that evidence was planted, but he nonetheless proceeded with the prosecutions. It is believed that there are nearly 1,000 wrongful felony convictions tied to this incredible conspiracy in Dothan.
Misconduct may have been spurred by racial animosity
As the article suggests, the targets of these false arrests and prosecutions were young black men, which raises the question of racism. According to news reports the Dothan police officers who were involved belonged to a neo-Confederate organization known as being “hostile towards democracy” and exhibiting “an understanding of race that favors segregation and suggests white supremacy.” In fact, a few of the officers were believed to have held leadership positions in the group.
If you have questions regarding drug charges, or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law by calling us at (205) 296-4233.