Huntsville City Council spends $655,000 on report concerning June 2020 protests

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The City of Huntsville spent more than $650,000 for a special counsel’s report concerning the Huntsville Police Department’s response to the protests against police brutality during the summer of 2020.

According to a city spokesperson, the special counsel’s report for the ‘Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council’ by the Birmingham law firm of ‘Lightfoot, Franklin, and White’, cost the City of Huntsville $655,893.

The Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council report on the protests in downtown Huntsville last summer found violations of policy, overreactions to social media posts, a lack of coordination between law enforcement agencies, and a need for more training.

The report took a broad look at the Huntsville Police Department’s response to the protests and found significant room for improvement.

The city council contracted the law firm to make recommendations for policy changes going forward.

During a recent works session, City Administrator John Hamilton presented Huntsville’s response to the report. He said that they appreciate the efforts of the independent counsel and countered some claims in the report.

The City’s response stated that every effort was made to exercise transparency with the independent counsel, highlighting that they were unaware of any attempt to prevent officers from speaking. It was also mentioned that a single HPD officer used rubber bullets at the protests and that he is no longer employed by HPD.

To read Hamilton’s full response or watch a recording of the work session click here.

Though the report has been published for more than a month, there’s been no indication from the city council if any policy changes will come from the report’s recommendations.

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