SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Three Selma police officers who saw charges against them dropped less than a month ago are now finding themselves facing re-indictments.
Lt. Tori Neely, Sgt. Jeffrey Hardy, and Sgt. Kendall Thomas were accused in 2018 of making false statements during an investigation being conducted by the Alabama attorney general’s office. The investigation was probing missing firearms at the Selma Police Department.
Julian McPhillips, the attorney representing all three officers, said the charges were dropped after grand jury secrecy rules were violated. But now, he says the officers have been indicted again with what appears to be for the same issue. The difference? The charges have been changed from felonies to misdemeanors.
“Selma, as you know, has got its fair share of crime," McPhillips said Tuesday. "It needs its police department working together. It needs it not divided and stepped on by somebody from Montgomery claiming they know something about an evidence problem when the real evidence thief is still walking around free with no charges against her.”
Attorneys are calling on the attorney general’s office to dismiss the charges and are seeking to have the officers reinstated with back-pay.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, McPhillips spoke out against Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier. McPhillips said morale is at an all time low because of the chief, and he said if the council does not appoint a new chief, they share in responsibility for what happens as a result.
Collier briskly walked into the council chamber as McPhillips ended his remarks and was walking out of the room. Collier said he was made aware of what McPhillips was saying and he came down to respond.
Collier said he found out Monday night about the re-indictments of the officers, but he had no part in them. A Dallas County grand jury indicted the officers and Collier said no Selma police personnel testified in the re-indictments.
Collier also said when he became aware of the re-indictments he notified the council president.
A council member asked for the chief’s resignation, to which Collier replied that crime is down.