Investigation clears Tuscaloosa police chief of allowing suspect to smoke weed

Investigation clears Tuscaloosa police chief of allowing suspect to smoke weed

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - An investigation into the Tuscaloosa Police Chief's decision to give a standoff suspect weed has found he did nothing wrong.

The incident happened outside DCH Regional Medical Center when Police Chief Steve Anderson tried to convince a gunman to surrender, using marijuana as a bargaining tool.

Mayor Maddox said he did he had to do and is backing the police chief on this.

"We had to take a gun out of somebody's hand in front of a hospital and so our chief had to make a split-second decision. I support him in that decision," said Maddox.

Authorities said Joshua Montgomery held a gun to his head threatening to kill himself, and this wasn't his first encounter with police.

"Here's the critical point you have to remember. You're talking about a suspect who interacting with law enforcement over 100 times in recent years, 100 times," said Maddox.

Before the lockdown at DCH Regional Medical Center, there was a police pursuit in search of Montgomery. Investigators said police got a call from a woman saying Montgomery said he would kill her.

"It's a failure from the state mental health and corrections system that we continue to engage the same individuals that either need mental health services or need rehabilitation through the corrections system," said Maddox.

Chief Anderson promised Montgomery he could smoke some weed if he gave up and he kept his word before taking him to a mental health facility.

"He saved a guy's life, he saved a family a lot of agony. A life is more important than a joint," said resident Ransey O'Daniel.

"Our police departments are having to be innovative, they are having to go the extra mile to ensure they protect public safety. We're going to have to continue to make tough decisions to overcome the lack of support we see in corrections and mental health," said Maddox.

The City Attorney's office determined Anderson was well within his rights to provide marijuana to Montgomery.

Montgomery was charged with domestic violence and kidnapping.

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