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5 Ala. Cops Resign Amid Probe

February 8, 2002

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ Five Montgomery police officers have resigned and three have been put on unpaid leave following allegations of police brutality, officials said Thursday.

An internal police investigation was begun Monday after an officer fought with a juvenile suspect he was transporting. City officials said the probe has since uncovered questionable police conduct dating back several months.

Seven of the officers are white and all the victims were black, said Larry Armstead, assistant to Mayor Bobby Bright. ``Obviously ... that’s something that concerns me,″ Armstead said.

The officers are accused of abusing their positions of authority, mistreating citizens and false reporting of incidents. Specifics of the allegations were not released, pending completion of the probe.

On Monday, Officer Michael Clark, 32, was charged with criminal use of Mace after scuffling with a 17-year-old prisoner he was transporting. Police said an argument prompted Clark to stop the car and the shoving match ensued.

Clark was among the officers who resigned Wednesday.

``I don’t care how deep this goes, we will investigate,″ the Montgomery Advertiser quoted Bright as saying.

Bright didn’t immediately return calls Thursday from The Associated Press for comment.

Also investigation are the state attorney general’s office, the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI, officials said.

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