According to a newly released report, members of the narcotics investigation unit in Dotham, Alabama planted drugs and weapons on black men since the 1990s, with supervision and encouragement from their supervisor, a white supremacist. Many of one the men implicated by the report are still officers, including the State’s Assistant Director of Homeland Security.
The documents reveal a covered-up internal affairs investigation that implicated many officers who went on to gain high-power positions in the state. When the report was completed, then-Police Chief John White and District Attorney Doug Valeska did not submit the report to federal or state officials, which is required by the department’s policy.
The report implicated several police officers, all of whom failed a polygraph test when questioned. The reports go back to the 1990s, when imprisoned men started to complain that evidence was planted on them. The investigation took years to even begin, as officers looked the other way while reports rolled in. When the damning report was completed, officials still refused to investigate.
Many of the men implicated in the report were affiliated with a neoconfederate group that the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes as “racial extremists.” The group believes that African Americans should be returned to Africa, that blacks have lower IQs, and that the civil rights movement is a Jewish conspiracy. Two leaders in the organization include Officers Andy Hughes and Steve Parrish. Hughes is currently Alabama’s Assistant Director of Homeland Security, while Parrish is Dotham’s Chief of Police.
District Attorney John Valeska received the report, but did not file it with any agency. Not only did Valeska cover it up, he continued to prosecute cases that were included in the report, while not notifying the victims of the accusations. Valeska’s inaction likely sent innocent men to jail.
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