TARRANT, Ala. (WIAT) — On Thursday, Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton addressed the assault charges filed against him by the former police chief. Newton turned himself in to police Wednesday afternoon.
He says he believes the altercation between him and former Tarrant Police Chief Dennis Reno stems from racial discrimination. The mayor says Reno would not hire African-American police officers.
The alleged assault between Newton and Reno took place on November 3, 2020, which was also the city’s election day.
“Mr. Reno is alleging that I slammed his arm in the door and this is not true, and I fully expected to be exonerated,” said Newton.
A third-degree assault warrant was issued for Newton on Wednesday. He says he’s in the process of requesting a video of the incident.
“I’ve ordered our city attorney to release the surveillance video footage in my office showing this incident in addition I’ve also ordered the city attorney to release the video footage showing Mr. Reno the following day November the 4th moving out all his items out of his office,” said Newton.
Community member Trulane Davis spoke out at the press concerned saying she witnessed the incident.
“We heard this argument in the mayor’s office, and they walked to the door the mayor told him you work for me I don’t work for you. The next thing we know he shut the door and the chief walked away I didn’t see anything I didn’t see him slam a door on his arm,” said Davis.
CBS 42 News reached out to Reno in regards to the case but he declined to be on camera.
He did tell us the mayor called him into his office and was asked him to provide files on all police officers in Tarrant. Reno told the mayor he needed more than a few days to get him the files. That’s when Reno recalls the mayor yelling at him. Reno says he walked out of Newton’s office and that’s when the mayor slammed the door on Reno’s elbow.
We’ve reached out to the city’s attorney, Freddie Rubio, asking when the surveillance video in the mayor’s office will be released. We were told he is out of the office until Monday.