HUNTSVILLE, ALA (WHNT) - The City of Huntsville has released police dashboard camera video of a December 23, 2011 incident that led to Huntsville police officer Brett Russell's firing in May. Russell, however was reinstated to the force Thursday night by a unanimous vote of the Huntsville City Council.
In the video, Russell is shown punching a man and using knee drops to subdue him. The excessive use of force was determined as being in violation of departmental procedure by Police Chief Lewis Morris, but the official facts and findings compiled by the appeal officer state that there was no proof Russell premeditated or planned to assault his detainee.
Huntsville Human Resources Director Byron Thomas say any city employee who breaks departmental rules are subject to the same charge, appeal, hearing and decision process. Thomas also says, by policy, the Huntsville City Council has the power to override or modify recommendations or actions handed down by department heads.
"Our personnel policies and procedures manuals are applicable to all of our departments, so all the rules written in these manuals are for all our full-time employees," Thomas explains.
Officer Brett Russell will resume his duties after a 30-day suspension without pay, completion of an anger management course and remedial training in use of force.