Former police officer pleads not guilty to civil rights charge - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Former police officer pleads not guilty to civil rights charge

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A former Birmingham police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to violating the civil rights of a man injured in a police chase.

David Wayne Doran entered the not guilty plea Thursday morning in federal court and was released on $5,000 unsecured bond. By law, Doran was required to enter a not guilty plea.

Doran and Barrett Gene Dewitt, another former Birmingham Police officer, were indicted by a federal grand jury two weeks ago for using unreasonable force during a January 2008 arrest of Anthony Warren. The indictment said the officers, while acting in their official capacity, aided and abetted one another in striking Warren with fists, feet and a baton on Jan. 23, 2008. Those blows caused bodily injury to Warren, who was identified in the indictment as A.W.
According to the indictment, Dewitt and Doran violated the victim's civil rights by depriving Warren of his Fourth Amendment constitutional right to be free of unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by someone acting under the color of law.

The arrest gained national attention in 2008 when Warren's apprehension was captured on video by a dashcam inside a Birmingham police officer's patrol car.  Prior to the arrest, officers and deputies from Birmingham, Hoover, and Jefferson County chased the suspect for 22 minutes. The chase began in downtown Birmingham and ended in Hoover when an officer nudged the suspect's vehicle as he was attempting to re-enter Interstate 459 at the Highway 31 exit, causing the vehicle to overturn. Just moments before the chase ended, the video showed the suspect's vehicle striking and injuring a Hoover police officer on foot.

The video was not released to the public until three months after the incident when the district attorney's office contacted Birmingham city officials. Five Birmingham officers were ultimately fired for their role in the incident.

Dewitt is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 21.

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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