The Henry County Report dropped a bombshell Tuesday: A group of "racial extremists" within one Alabama police department planted drugs and weapons on young black men for more than 10 years, leading to nearly 1,000 wrongful convictions. The story is based on hundreds of files obtained by the Alabama Justice Project. "The documents serve as irrefutable evidence of criminal activity at the highest levels of the Dothan Police Department," the Henry County Report states. The documents implicate up to a dozen officers who were members of a "neoconfederate" group that believed black people are inferior to white people and sought to send them back to Africa. The officers' supervisors—Steve Parrish and Andy Hughes—were allegedly members of the same group.
Some of the young black men who were framed had no criminal record, according to the Henry County Report. Many of them were sentenced to prison, and a number are still there. Meanwhile, many of the officers involved were promoted. Parrish is currently the Dothan police chief, and Hughes is the state's assistant director of homeland security. Other officers within the police department came forward years ago to report the planting of evidence and had their lives threatened. And an investigation into the allegations by Dothan's internal affairs was reportedly covered up by the district attorney, who continued to prosecute cases while ignoring claims of evidence planting. Now a number of officers are coming forward again, sharing documents and agreeing to testify to bring belated justice to those targeted. Read the full story here. (Read more racism stories.)