By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Auburn Police report contradicts Sen. Tom Whatley’s statement about his domestic violence arrest on December 9.
According to the official police filings, Whatley “grabbed the female [his fiancée] by the arm and forcefully shoved her down on the brick steps and concrete porch.” Whatley was then told by officers to drop to the ground and he complied with their demand.
Whatley issued a statement the day after his arrest saying, “I would like to assure the citizens of Senate District 27 that I was not violent with my fiancée.” However, a man “forcefully”shoving a female down on to “brick steps and [a] concrete porch,” would be considered by any reasonable person as an act of violence.
Whatley was charged by the officers at the scene with Domestic violence in the third degree.
According to Alabama code, Domestic violence in the third degree occurs, “when the defendant commits the crimes of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, criminal coercion, harassment, criminal surveillance, harassing communications, third-degree criminal trespass, second or third-degree criminal mischief, or third-degree arson.”
Domestic violence in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail.
The police report says that they were investigating a report of a homeless person in the neighborhood when they heard shouting and went to investigate. The report says that when they arrived on the scene, the woman was between Whatley and the car and appeared to be motioning for Whatley to go back into the house.
Police then observed Whatley coming back toward the woman and at that time order him to drop to the ground, which he did.
Recently, Governor Bentley, along with most of the State’s congressional delegation called for Federal Judge Mark Fuller to step down from the bench, after he was arrested on Domestic violence charges in an Atlanta hotel.
Also, Alabama’s First Lady, Dianne Bentley, has been, for the last several months, crusading for greater awareness of the domestic violence in the State.
This issue, together with the police report, does not bode well for the sitting Senator from Auburn.