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Brookside Mayor says he has no plans to resign after police controversy

Brookside city leaders comment on policing controversy
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:09 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 4:46 PM CST
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BROOKSIDE, Ala. (WBRC) - For the first time, we are hearing from leaders in the town of Brookside. Brookside’s Police Chief resigned just this week after allegations of improper and excessive traffic stops and policing.

Mayor Mike Bryan has only been mayor for two months. He tells WBRC, he is not involved in the situation and has no plans to step down after a state lawmaker called for his resignation earlierThursday.

Surrounded by the town council Thursday evening, Bryan spoke with us about allegations the former police chief turned the department into an aggressive traffic stop machine. Bryan says on December 15th, he directed the police department to stop patrolling I-22. He says BPD continued to patrol despite that order. Bryan tells us as of last week, the police department is no longer patrolling I-22 unless its responding to emergencies or calls for help.

The town is currently cooperating with the Lt. Governor’s office and others who are trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

“We are recognizing the need for total, complete transparency. It is important for us to meet this moment in Brookside. These are just initial as we move forward,” Mayor Bryan said.

Bryan tells us the town is undergoing an internal audit by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. The mayor says he cares about this town and said he’s committed to making it better.

Representative Juandalynn Givan released the following statement in response:

“The mayor and city attorney of Brookside released statements. However, those statements didn’t go far enough. I’m asking Mayor Mike Bryan to resign because he previously served as the long-standing Brookside council pro-tempore member before being elected mayor. He also served as interim mayor before the passing of the late Mayor Roger McCondichie. Furthermore, the mayor knew what was happening the two months he’s been in his new position. Without me calling on his resignation after the publication of the articles, he would’ve remained silent. During his time as a council member, Mike Bryan voted for and helped to pass ordinances strengthening the Brookside Police Department in addition to passing city budgets with revenues increasing over 600%. Then-Council member Bryan was there each time the police department reported their revenues to them during council meetings. Mr. Bryan, as un-involved as he sounds, is as culpable as the others. The statement released by Brookside City Attorney Mark Parnell was unfair to the general public. There are thousands of people owing fines to the City of Brookside. Those cases were prosecuted by Mark Parnell. In addition to asking for City Attorney Mark Parnell’s resignation, I’m also asking for his office to release preliminary data on the number of cases dismissed, prosecuted and those that went to trial in the City of Brookside. I’m also asking Judge Jim Wooten to resign. During his tenure as Brookside judge, there have been hundreds of innocent people either jailed, fined unfairly or not given fair opportunities in court. Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway and I will host an in-person Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 in Fultondale to meet with the general public concerning the City of Brookside. On Wednesday, February 2, 2022 I will host a virtual town hall on Brookside for those not able to make the in-person meeting.”

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