Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I am pro police. Police are a necessary. Police are responsible to the public, they work for the public. What gives police a bad name are a few officers that think they must use lethal force, when it is not necessary. Firearm training for police teaches how to kill not wound and to many officers are to damn quick on the draw.
Sheriff Hoss Mack requested $600,000.00 from the County Commission for cameras, body, vehicle and jail. His sales pitch was this would provide transparency and accountability for the public. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Sheriff Mack has made it a policy of NOT providing camera footage to the media or public.
When the Sheriff of the county is the most powerful politician in the county you have a serious problem. He becomes THE law without any accountability or transparency.
Bay Minette police are now adopting his policy. Their has been consistent complaints about Bay Minette police harassing members of the black community. The latest incident has more questions than facts. Mr. French was pulled over for a minor traffic violation, turn signals, now he is dead.
You can be sure you will only see selective censored camera footage, if you see any at all.
The Baldwin County Major Crimes Unit of the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation. The major crimes unit is the Sheriff office investigating the Sheriff office.
Loss of life by a Baldwin County Police should be investigative by outside the county agencies. The FBI would be an excellent choice. When have you ever heard of the Major Crimes Unit ever say that the police were responsible? NEVER.
It is rumored that Attorney Ben Crump may be representing the French Family. Mr Crump has represented family’s all over the United States that have lost loved ones at the hands of police.
It is also rumored that the Chief of Police in Bay Minette is Sheriff Mack’s pick to replace him upon his retirement. Let’s pray to God that the public wakes up and elects a Sheriff that can keep his promises to the citizens of Baldwin County.
Reid said he’s watched the officer’s body-cam video several times and there may be other video of the incident. He would not comment on exactly what it shows and it’s MCU policy not to release body-cam footage to the public at this stage of an investigation.
Body cameras that are set up to capture every detail of an officer’s day. It’s a tool for transparency and to prosecute, if necessary.
“She said they are calling for Baldwin County to release the security and bodycam videos that may have captured the incident and are asking why authorities have not taken any action against the multiple perpetrators, as far as they know”.
“In an order filed April 19, U.S. District Court Judge William Cassady dismissed a single claim against Mack, but denied to grant the defendants’ broader motion for summary judgment. Reviewed “in a light most favorable to the plaintiff,” Cassady wrote, videotapes, audio, and witness statements from the incident leave cause to believe a jury could find that Hunady violated Victor’s constitutional rights, while Mack failed to adequately train his deputies to respond to mental health crises.”
Lagniappe vs. Mack
A compilation of stories about the May 12, 2017 shooting of Jonathan Victor by a deputy of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. The stories led to a 2021 Alabama Supreme Court decision which severely restricted public access to records related to law enforcement investigations.
By Gabriel Tynes |
The high court ruled the records Lagniappe sought, including dash and body camera footage from the shooting, are all exempted from open records law due to their “investigative” nature, even though the investigation in the shooting has been closed
“This week we focus our attention on the Unimaginable Decision from the Alabama Supreme Court that guts the Open Records Act related to body cam footage or any other investigative material in the possession of Law Enforcement…even after the investigation is concluded”.
“By this time, defendants were dead-set on killing Yates and at or about 6:30 p.m., the decision was made to breach the Yates residence with all of the SWAT team’s firepower, although the situation was not an exigent one, nor was there an emergency, nor had Yates threatened anyone’s life since firing a warning shot inside his home,” it reads. “Based on bullet holes in Yates’ home and shell casings found outside the residence, SWAT team members shot the home up with their military style weapons without probable cause, as Yates had been silent for several hours. There were more than 114 shells/bullet casings, along with tear gas canisters and concussion grenades left at the scene.”
The deadly crash has called into question the BCSO vehicle pursuit policy, which advises against engaging in pursuits for misdemeanor offenses. According to cell phone video captured by passersby during the pursuit, the deputy was also driving an unmarked SUV, which the policy advises against.
“According to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), Peyton Little threatened to kill himself hours before it happened. BCSO reports he was riding in the car with his 16-year-old girlfriend when he wrapped his seat belt around his neck and exited the vehicle.”
No drag marks were found on the body and it was declared a suicide immediately.
The rumors surrounding this case are the only information available because the case was quickly sealed. This case was sealed without it ever being reported Mr. Little was a confidential informant for the Bay Minette police.
Baldwin County has it’s own wrongfully convicted man, Murray “Bubba” Lawrence. His conviction defies logic, evidence, and any basic investigation. Most amazing is the fact that the prosecution, defense, jury, nor judge, ever established any timeline. The timeline established by the 2000 plus page transcript, establishes a timeline that proves Mr. Lawrence had multiple witness alibi’s. How this was overlooked is highly suspicious.
The “investigation” produced no fingerprints, no weapon, no ballistics, no blood, no fiber, no DNA, no timeline, no witness to the crime, only the testimony of the McNeil. The murderer, was threatened with the death penalty if he did not give up an accomplice.
“This is a very long post however it documents the abuse of power and a police department running without a throttle, any accountability or transparency. The allegations, deaths and incarceration of an innocent man, combined with the ultimate power of the Sheriff, should be the concern of every citizen in Baldwin County. This is not bashing police. This is pointing out serious existing and reoccurring situations that are resulting in major lawsuits where the taxpayer will be the loser.”
The County Commission needs to insist the Sheriff’s Department return the $600.000.00 or provide the camera footage that TAXPAYERS PAID FOR.