Tuscumbia officer disciplined, will undergo remedial firearms training after confrontation

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. - A Tuscumbia police officer was disciplined and will undergo remedial firearms training after he pulled his gun during a confrontation on August 17.

Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan confirmed in a press conference Friday the officer was still employed after a policy review committee found the officer mishandled the confrontation outside Keller Court Apartments.

In cell phone video from Muscle Shoals resident Ryan Williams, Williams was approached by an off-duty officer, who said he had been recklessly driving through the complex. On the video, the officer said he was walking his dog when he noticed Williams speeding through.

The officer is then seen pulling his gun. It remains unclear why the officer pulled his weapon, but he kept it by his side until an on-duty officer arrived.

In a statement, Tuscumbia Police detailed the confrontation.

"On August 17, 2019 between the times of 9:30-10 p.m., a resident of Keller Court Apartments made contact with an off-duty Tusubmia police officer. She was concerned that her sister's ex-boyfriend had been driving through the apartment complex in his Jeep blowing the horn and excessively texting her and wanted to know what to do if it continued. She went outside and observed the vehicle backed in with the lights off across from the apartment watching the apartment. She asked the off-duty officer if he could approach him and let him know it was creating a concern with him being there. The off-duty officer who was walking his dog went into his apartment and notified police dispatch to send an on-duty unit to his location.

The off-duty then made contact with the person sitting inside the Jeep as described by the two ladies. As was seen on a video made by the person sitting inside the jeep, there was a conversation between the off-duty officer and him for over 2 minutes. The off-duty officer requested to see some identification at which the person sitting ins the jeep initially failed to comply with. At some point in the conversation, the off-duty officer is seen removing his duty weapon and holding down at his side pointing to the ground. In an interview later with the off-duty officer by a policy review committee, the officer said he became concerned that he could not see what the person in the jeep was doing with his hands and felt it was potentially a threat to his safety. Once the on-duty units arrived, the person sitting in the jeep produced his identification.

The Chief's office was made aware early Sunday morning of the incident by the on-duty day shift supervisor. Later that morning, the person that was in the Jeep came to the station to file a formal complaint. Based on the complaint and after viewing the video, I appointed a policy review committee to see if the incident was within our policies and procedures.

The committee reported to me that they felt his handling of his firearm was NOT consistent with our training.

As a result, the off-duty officer has been disciplined in accordance with our policies for the incident.

The Tuscumbia Police Department seeks to maintain the highest standards of conduct in the performance of our duties."

Logan didn't specifically say what form of "discipline" the officer faced, citing it as a personnel matter.

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