Brookside police chief resigns; Lt. Gov. requests audit
BROOKSIDE, Ala. (WBRC) - WBRC confirmed Mike Jones resigned as Brookside Police Chief.
This is the statement from the Town of Brookside: Mike Jones resigned as the Police Chief for the Town of Brookside. Since this involves a personnel matter, the Town has no further comment.
The resignation follows an investigative report by al.com.
UPDATE: Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth is now officially requesting a full audit of the City of Brookside “focusing on, but not limited to, their police department, municipal court, general and departmental funds.”
Below is a copy of the letter:
The letter from the lieutenant governor is just the latest development in a long saga of accusations against the Brookside police department.
“The police chief resigning this week is a glaring sign, a glaring sign of the possibility of something nefarious happening in that city,” said Representative Merika Coleman.
This comes on the heels of al.com’s report that indicated the chief turned the police department into a quote “aggressive traffic trap”. State leaders now getting a look at the date for themselves.
“In the Brookside situation, nearly half of the city’s budget came from tickets,” said said Representative Merika Coleman.
Which is why state leaders are now working on potential solutions to protect communities from overly aggressive policing.
“In the state of Alabama what we are looking at is curtailing or limiting or capping the amount of revenue a city can generate to its budget to 30%,” said Representative Merika Coleman.
The Town of Brookside released this statement: To investigate and address the issues raised by the recent news accounts of our Police Department, on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, the Town of Brookside requested the Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission (APOSTC) perform a compliance audit of the Brookside Police Department and Officers. On January 26, 2022, APOSTC agreed to immediately initiate the requested audit. The Town continues to investigate these issues and will take any other appropriate action that may be determined necessary.
Still, this is not the first allegation of wrongdoing that’s taken place over the last few years in Brookside. One local pastor says his wife and him were racially harassed at a traffic stop.
“He walked away and then turned around and gave us our stuff back and I asked, ‘Do you stop everyone like this?’ and he said ‘Look you effing N-word, just stay out of Brookside’,” said Wheeling Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Vincent Witt.
Pastor Witt says he experienced retaliatory actions for speaking out and he is now suing some in the Department for defamation of character. Still he hopes others come forward with their experiences.
“That is my prayer and my hope. That people would start to speak out, and stop being scared of this municipality,” said Pastor Vincent Witt.
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