Update: Despite numerous citizens asking for an investigation into the police department, the Russellville City Council has reinstated patrolman Brett Evans one day short of his full suspension. Evans had retained Florence attorney Tony Hughes, a former police officer, who threatened one council member with an ethics inquiry.
Those who read the Russellville arrests regularly know that most who are charged with what some cities handle as minor non-custodial arrests are instead booked into the jail with their arrests appearing online. When Evans recently stopped a motorist who had no valid driver license, the motorist called city council member Arthur Elliot to intervene. Evans then refused to let the driver go as was apparently requested.
The next night, Elliot made a motion at a council meeting to terminate Evans; however, the council instead suspended the officer for 14 days. The council at that time cited complaints from more than one citizen, and several appeared at the meeting wishing to testify of unfair treatment at the hands of the Russellville Department. Chief Chris Hargett was quoted as saying he couldn’t comment on an ongoing investigation.
Whether Hughes will follow through on his threat against the councilman remains to be seen. In Alabama, anyone may file an ethics complaint against an elected official. Elliot has denied the charges Hughes brought against him.
From November 14th: On November 6th, the Russellville City Council, after meeting in executive session, voted unanimously to suspend 25 year old patrol officer Brett Evans. The suspended officer states on social media that he’s originally from Atlanta and is a graduate of Russellville High School.
Police chief Chris Hargett did not attend the meeting at which Evans was given the 14 day suspension. No one connected to the matter would speak on the record, other than to say the suspension was related to citizen complaints, since this is an ongoing investigation.