ANNISTON, Ala. (WIAT) – UPDATE: During a press conference in Anniston, it was announced that Lt. Wayne Brown submitted retirement. The city has accepted. Lt. Josh Doggrell will be fired.
Reporter Jamie Ostroff will have more in our 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.
ORIGINAL: The Mayor of Anniston, Vaughn Stewart, has released a statement saying, “Like many of you, I was shocked yesterday by the allegations brought against two Anniston police officers. Rest assured, I am working hard to get to the bottom of it. Anniston has no tolerance for racism and hatred. Anniston has come a long way since bigots attacked a bus of Freedom Riders in 1961. We will continue to move forward, not backward.”
The city of Anniston has placed two members of the Anniston Police Force on administrative leave following an article and YouTube video from the Southern Poverty Law Center alleging Lt. Wayne Brown and Lt. Josh Doggrell are members of a “hate group.”
The video, filmed in 2013, shows Doggrell giving a speech, for which the SPLC says is the League of the South.
“It’s good to be among people who think like I do,” Doggrell told the group.
The city released the following statement in a news release Wednesday afternoon:
After being made aware of the Wednesday, June 17 article by the SPLC, the City of Anniston is taking the allegations made against Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell very seriously and have placed both officers on administrative leave. Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell do not speak for the City of Anniston nor the Anniston Police Department. The City of Anniston has commenced an investigation into this matter and will work diligently to ensure the appropriate action is taken.
WIAT 42 News spoke with two members of Anniston’s City Council about their reactions.
“I haven’t completely seen the video, but just from the overall details that I’ve heard, it’s very disappointing,” said Seyram Selase, who represents Anniston’s third ward. “We’re already making sure that we conduct an immediate and swift investigation into the matter.”
“It’s a black eye to the City of Anniston as a whole, and a black eye to the police department,” said David Reddick, who represents the second ward. “We’re here to protect and serve everybody…How can you protect and serve someone that you hate?”
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News