Birmingham police officer fired after allegedly staging a shooting and faking a distress call

A Birmingham police officer has been fired after officials say he staged a shooting and issued a fake distress call.

Our news partner AL.com reports Chief Patrick Smith is asking the D.A. to file charges against former Officer Keith Buchanan.

Birmingham police Sgt. Johnny Williams told AL.com that on July 21, Buchanan notified the dispatcher that he was making a traffic stop when he put out a call of shots fired and never finished his transmission to the dispatcher.

Police began searching for Buchanan because they did not know his location. A Tarrant police officer found the patrol vehicle with bullet holes but could not find Buchanan. A TPD officer issued a call for all possible assistance at 1:23 a.m. using the former BPD officer’s radio.

Officers located Buchanan a short distance away, near railroad tracks. “He wasn’t communicating at that point,” Williams said.

Birmingham police, UAB police and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies blocked off the roadways, including the interstate, to get the officer to UAB Hospital’s Trauma Center.

The call initially went out as an officer shot, but once he arrived at the hospital, Williams said, they learned he was not injured. Williams said the officer was conscious when found but not speaking.

Buchanan has faced discipline issues in the past, according to records obtained by AL.com from the Jefferson County Personnel Board.

In 2016, Buchanan was reprimanded for filing a false report in relation to a public intoxication arrest in April of that year.

In July of 2015, Buchanan took possession of a stolen gun from a theft suspect and kept the weapon for four months without notifying a supervisor. In November 2015, he falsified a report saying he had found the weapon.

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