Two police officers in Anniston, Alabama have been placed on administrative leave over allegations that they belong to a hate group, according to AL.com.
Lt. Josh Doggrell and Lt. Wayne Brown are being investigated for ties to the League of the South after the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) posted an article on its Hatewatch blog Wednesday alleging their ties to the “neo confederate” hate group, the report says.
“Neo confederate” has been identified by the SPLC, a nonprofit legal advocacy group specializing in civil rights and public interest, as groups that advocate “traditional gender roles, … hostile towards democracy, strongly opposes homosexuality, and exhibits an understanding of race that favors segregation and suggests white supremacy,” the report says.
In a statement this afternoon, the city announced the two were being placed on leave. Aziza Jackson, a spokeswoman for the city, said she did not know if the two were on paid or unpaid administrative leave.
“After being made aware of the Wednesday, June 17 article by the SPLC, the City of Anniston is taking the allegations made against Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell very seriously and have placed both officers on administrative leave,” the statement reads.
“Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell do not speak for the City of Anniston nor the Anniston Police Department. The City of Anniston has commenced an investigation into this matter and will work diligently to ensure the appropriate action is taken,” the statement concludes.
Doggrell said he told police officials during an interview that “I’m not going to sell out my position with the League, as something I believe in strongly. If it came down to it, I’d choose the League.”
And that’s not even the worst of it. The chief responded, “We pretty much think like you do.” AL.com says it’s not clear from the statement when this encounter occurred, or who the police chief was at the time.
The investigation continues, but given the image of law enforcement in this country in the wake of incidents that have left Black men, women, and children injured or dead, the allegations are extremely disturbing.
SOURCE: AL.com | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube