Huntsville Police Officer who admitted to lying to investigators placed on administrative leave

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville Police Officer Brett Russell is in the Morgan County Jail after being convicted of use of excessive force and obstruction of justice, Thursday night.

Now citizens are petitioning for one of the prosecution’s key witnesses to be fired from the police department.

Officer Joshua Bates admitted on the stand to lying to internal affairs, the FBI, and a grand jury during the initial investigation. He only changed his testimony three days before Russell’s federal trial began.

Police Chief Lewis Morris tells WHNT News 19 Bates is now on administrative leave. Morris says an internal investigation will be conducted, without consideration for any federal immunity promised by federal investigators.

In the meantime, a group called the Tennessee Valley Constitutionalist Society has launched a petition calling for Bates to be removed from the police force.

They write:

“Joshua Bates stood by and watched as Officer Russell beat a handcuffed citizen. He admits to lying about this for four years. He only admitted to seeing the beating after he was given immunity. Huntsville does not need an officer like this in service…”

They are citing Bates’ tearful admission to a jury on Tuesday. Bates testified that he lied in order to protect his future with the department.