Three Selma Police Department officers charged with providing false information in AG Investigation

Published 2:17 pm Friday, November 2, 2018

Three Selma Police Department (SPD) officers are charged with making false statements related to a matter under investigation by the office of Attorney General Steve Marshall.

A Dallas County grand jury indicted Lt. Toriano Neely, Sgt. Jeffrey Hardy and Sgt. Kendall Thomas Thursday and they surrendered at the Dallas County Jail Friday.

All three are charged with knowingly falsifying, concealing or covering up material or making a false or fraudulent statement in a matter under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, which is a violation of Code of Alabama 36-15-62.1. The crime is a class C felony punishable by one year and one day to 10 years.

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The officers have been on administrative leave at the SPD since Sept. 26. Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier said on Sept. 26 that the move didn’t involve disciplinary action.

“The Selma Police Department values the Attorney General’s Office as a trusted partner,” said Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier.  “So, the returned indictment from a Dallas Grand Jury is a matter that we take extremely serious.  The indicted officers will remain on administrative leave. The integrity of the Selma Police Department is our primary concern and we expect the behavior of our officers to reflect that.  We will fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office and the Grand Jury’s investigation.”

Montgomery-based Attorney Julian McPhillips, who represents all three SPD officers, said it’s still unclear why they were arrested nearly two months ago.

“I don’t know why they won’t tell these three guys… what are they scared of?” McPhillips said. “We have no idea but we just think the justice system especially out of the state attorney general’s office and apparently the Mayor’s office of Selma is just way out of whack and we’re just gonna stand up to it and fight it with every ounce we have.”

A news release from Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office didn’t reveal anything about the investigation that led to the charges, but Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson said the probe concerned weapons that went missing from a police evidence locker last year.

State and federal agencies opened an investigation into current and past employees of the Selma Police Department after a large number of guns were taken, including one later connected to a homicide.