DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan's Police Chief Steven Parrish reacted Wednesday to a recent blog post that accused his department of planting drugs and weapons on young black men in the Wiregrass.
Parrish said the claims in The Henry County Report aren't true, and other than one incident in the 1990s involving a case of "improper storage" of evidence, he hasn't received any complaints that officers planted evidence on anyone in at least 30 years.
Parrish confirmed the case from the 1990s involving one officer was addressed within the perimeters of the law and the police department policies of that time. According to Parrish, that officer hasn't worked with the agency since that time.
"His opinion, and that's all it is his opinion, has been taken by many as facts. It's a sad day when people read something online, and they take it for fact without any attempt to confirm it," Parrish said.
The blog post claimed more than a dozen officers were accused of planting evidence on black men in a case in the 1990s. The post included documents that were allegedly from an internal affairs investigation.
"While the photocopies mentioned in the blog that I'm referring to appear to be factual or appear to be authentic for that time period, [the writer] seems to have arranged and redacted those copies in order to meet his agenda," Parrish said.
Parrish also addressed a photo attached to the blog of him and other officers holding up a confederate flag.
"I'm a history enthusiast. Genealogy is what I've studied -- my lineage. My ancestors fought for the South in the Civil War," Parrish said. "I'm proud of that. If that makes me a demon, I'm sorry." Parrish says around 1999 he thought it would be a novel idea to form a Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter in Henry County.
The police chief says he welcomes the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Alabama Attorney General's Office or any other agency to investigate the allegations further.
Read Parrish's full statement: