FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A Red Bay police officer is at the center of an investigation after being accused of using excessive force on a church deacon.
Red Bay Police Chief, Janna Jackson says complaints were filed against the sergeant after he showed up at a church service in Vina, looking for a missing child.
Hurricane Creek Baptist Church pastor, Bobby Massey, says he witnessed the Red Bay police officer and a church member exchange words after the evening service on June 2nd. That’s when the pastor says things escalated.
“With that, the officer took out his handcuffs put it on the deacon, and took him to the ground face first,” said Massey.
The pastor says several members of the congregation begged for the officer to let the deacon off the ground, because he suffered from health complications. Massey accuses the officer of excessive and dangerous force.
“The officer pulled his gun out, waved it at the congregation and started hollering ‘Get back, get back,'” said Massey.
The deacon was taken into custody for obstructing justice and resisting arrest. The 61-year-old man was transported to the hospital for his injuries.
So far, the police department supervisor is still patrolling the streets. However, Chief Jackson says she has opened an investigation.
The chief says she will talk to witnesses and look at evidence, then take the case before a police committee.
“In law enforcement we do receive complaints from time to time just due to our job,” stated the chief. “We don`t always make people happy with the decisions we make and sometimes we make split second decisions.”
Chief Jackson expects the internal investigation regarding the incident to span several weeks.
The sergeant involved in this case has been in law enforcement for almost five years.