Mobile Police Chief Delivers Epic Response to Use Of Force Allegations
Mobile Alabama Police Chief James Barber was recently accused of using “excessive force” for drawing his firearm during a burglary call, a felony, where suspects are often armed, with dangerous weapons… The situation has somehow made it to mainstream media, probably because the suspect, a Mr. Padgett, complained that Chief Barber should have been wearing a body camera. Throw the catch phrase “bodycam” into any police related topic these days and the media hounds will pounce…because we all know, the days of America trusting a Law Enforcement Officers word are long gone, and the days of scrutinizing our every movement and breath, right down to what we are wearing that might look “scary”, are in.
Well, we give Chief Barber a ton of credit for how he handled the situation. Watch his reaction below:
FOX 10 TV reported on the incident and how the Mayor responded:
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson responded to an allegation against Mobile Police Chief James Barber before Chief Barber’s press conference Friday.
The allegation, which was made by Kenneth Padgett, stated Barber unlawfully pulled a gun on him, was reported to Stimpson by Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson.
Chief Barber was visibly upset when he gave a statement that lasted a little more than a minute. He called the incident a “distraction”. Here is his full response:
“First and foremost, let me acknowledge that the complaint filed by Mr. Padgett that I violated his civil rights has been forwarded to the FBI, who will evaluate the merits of this particular complaint. This entire process and complaint has been an unwarranted distraction to the daily activities of the Mobile Police Department. My advice to Mr. Padgett is that the next time he is caught in the process of a burglary, that he contact a lawyer, and not his councilman. I will make no apologies for taking action in a burglary in progress in the very neighborhood that these officials choose to avoid. Here is a conversation that I will have with the councilman: As of today, we have buried, we will bury, our ninth teenager due to gun violence. No body camera in the world will prevent that. I won’t entertain any more questions related to this particular allegation because we do have work to do for the law-abiding citizens of the city of Mobile. Thank you for your time.”
The chief was referring to Councilman Fred Richardson, who notified the mayor about the complaint. Richardson tells us he was only passing along the information, something he does regularly. According to the Mayor’s office, Chief Barber self-reported the complaint to the FBI after Padgett alleged his civil rights were violated.
This story came to light Thursday after the Mayor’s Office sent out this short statement, alerting us to the story. It read:
“Today, the Mayor’s Office received correspondence from Councilman Fred Richardson sharing a constituent’s allegation that Mobile Police Chief James Barber unlawfully pulled a gun on the constituent earlier this week. The Mayor’s Office takes these allegations very seriously and is looking into the details at this time.”
We found the man who had filed the complaint. Kenneth Padgett admitted to FOX10 News that was trying to steal a refrigerator and a heater from an apartment off Saint Stephens Road when the chief arrested him. Padgett was upset because the chief pulled out his gun to make the arrest and he says the chief wasn’t wearing a body camera.
Friday afternoon, Mayor Sandy Stimpson released a totally different statement from the one on Thursday.
“I have full confidence in Chief Barber and his leadership of the Mobile Police Department, and I am equally confident that he handled this matter appropriately. We fully expect the Justice Department will concur, and we will move on from this unwarranted distraction,” said Stimpson.
While the FBI will evaluate the merits of the allegations, the Mayor’s office has completed their review of the complaint and found it to be baseless. The Mayor’s Office tells us they did notify the chief before they sent out Thursday’s statement. Chief Barber would not take any further questions about the incident.