Cleared officer to return to Troy police force

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, March 8, 2018

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said he plans to reinstate the officer who was placed on administrative leave after the use of force during the arrest of a juvenile in December 2017.

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr would not say when the officer would return from paid administrative leave, declining to provide details.

“The State Bureau of Investigation completed a thorough independent investigation of this case,” Barr said. “The results of that investigation were turned over to an independent team of prosecutors appointed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. The facts of the case were presented to the grand jury and the grand jury found that the officers acted appropriately and did not commit any crime.

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“No further information will be released due to a pending trial for criminal charges against the juvenile.”

The SBI took over the investigation on Dec. 24, 2017, just one day after the incident and wrapped up the investigation on Feb. 8. District Attorney Tom Anderson recused himself from the investigation to “avoid any possible appearance of bias or political influence, and after researching national standards and recommendations related to potential conflicts or the appearance of conflicts.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall then appointed Tommy Smith, a supernumerary district attorney from Tuscaloosa and Michael Jackson, district attorney of the Fourth judicial circuit, as special prosecutors of both the investigation into the officers’ actions and Wilkerson’s juvenile case.

Smith said multiple officers were involved in the arrest, but only one was placed on leave. Smith and Barr declined to comment on whether any other officers used physical force.

Smith said the grand jury’s decision cleared all officers involved of any wrongdoing regardless.

“We’re very satisfied to say the officers acted in accordance with their training,” Smith said. “The jury agreed there should be no charges. The whole situation surrounding it was being looked at; a number of officers responded and were present when this occurred.”

Heath Carpenter, an SBI officer, said that the investigation file has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice for further review.

Efforts to reach the Department of Justice for comment have been unsuccessful.