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Sheffield police officer convicted of December assault on Black man

Sheffield Police Chief Ricky Terry has filed paperwork to terminate Lt. Max Dotson, according to reports.

Lieutenant Max Dotson
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On Friday, Lt. Max Dotson of the Sheffield Police Department was found guilty of a December 2022 assault against a Black man while off duty. 

Dotson was convicted of third-degree assault, menacing and reckless endangerment by District Judge Carole Medley. Dotson was sentenced to two years at the Lauderdale County Detention Center. 

Dotson assaulted Demarcus Key in December by hitting him in the face and pulling a gun on him. Dotson is also one of the officers currently under a federal lawsuit involving the 2021 police dog attack of Marvin Long. 

Long was tackled by officers from SPD and the Colbert County Sheriff’s office while on his porch. Then, one of the officers, Nick Risner, ordered his K-9 to bite Long while the unarmed Black man was restrained. Risner died in an October 2021 shooting incident.

Both Long and Key are represented by civil rights attorneys Harry Daniels and Roderick Van Daniel. Daniels and Van Daniel released the following statement following Dotson’s conviction: 

“Let’s be clear. On December 28, Lt. Dotson struck Demarcus Key multiple times in the face, bloodying his nose and mouth, and threatened him with a gun. But Lt. Dotson didn’t get arrested that night. Demarcus Key did. That’s the same kind of brutality and miscarriage of justice we saw when Lt. Dotson and his fellow officers accosted Marvin Long while he was unarmed on his own porch, assaulted him, sicced a police dog on him and, to cover their own crimes, arrested him.

Yes, we’re pleased that Lt. Dotson has been convicted. But he isn’t the bad apple. This is a bad tree. Between the Sheffield Police Department and Colbert County Sheriff’s Office, this is a bad orchard and it’s time we did something about it.”

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It has also been reported that Sheffield Police Chief Ricky Terry has filed paperwork to terminate Dotson.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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