Protests Continue Against Dothan City Police Department

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Jan. 5, 2016 at 6:18 PM CST
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Tensions between some in the black community and the Dothan Police Department is here.

Early last month, the dissent resurfaced, when a Wiregrass blogger posted an article claiming that Dothan PD officers planted drugs on young African American men 20 years ago.

A large protest occurred after Tuesday's Dothan City Commission meeting, as dozens supporting the black community came out to voice their concerns. Many of these protesters, donning shirts which proclaimed "Our Voices Matter: Speak Now Or Forever Be Enslaved."

During Tuesday's meeting, Mayor Mike Schmitz allowed one proponent and one opponent of Dothan PD to declare their positions.

Opponents of Dothan PD cited that the department has a "Gestapo Mentality" and made claims that the department is permeated with people who believe blacks are third and fourth class citizens.

Ruth Nelson, a vehement opposer of Dothan PD tells News 4: ""This is a nightmare...and when we look at the real underlying problems that are causing this..they need to be addressed and they need to be addressed with equality and with truth."

City officials Mayor Mike Schmitz and Mike West both publicly back Dothan PD and Chief Steve Parrish.