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Attorneys for Jawan Dallas comment on MPD controversy

Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine was placed on leave last week before he announced his retirement.

Jawan Dallas's sister, Maria Dallas, holds a picture of her late brother.
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Attorneys for Jawan Dallas released a statement regarding the ongoing controversy between now-former Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine and the city of Mobile. 

Last week, the city of Mobile announced that Prine was being placed on administrative leave due to an ongoing third-party investigation into the Mobile Police Department’s policies.

The investigation was prompted after Mobile police officers shot and killed several Black people in a string of incidents culminating in the death of a 16-year-old who was shot by a MPD officer during a pre-dawn raid.

Shortly after the news broke that he was placed on administrative leave Tuesday, Prine conducted an interview during which he said he was retiring because he felt was being targeted by “vindictive behavior” from high-level officials.

On Wednesday, Mayor Sandy Stimpson released a statement detailing that he was notified of troubling comments Prine made where the former chief essentially said, “Don’t pay attention to what I say in the media, f**k the public.” Stimpson also said Prine was offered a severance package but Prine never responded to the offer instead asked for a 600,000 payout. The city declined Prine’s demand.

In July, Dallas became one of the major incidents mentioned earlier as MPD officers tased him and he subsequently died following the incident. Dallas’ death lead to national attention and his family obtained legal assistance from several civil rights lawyers. The lawyers include Harry Daniels, Roderick Van Daniel, Ben Crump, Lee Merritt and John Burris. The attorneys released a statement saying they wish the allegations of Prine’s behavior and leadership became available sooner.

“While we will wait to make any final judgments until all of the facts are in, the allegations made by Mayor Stimpson yesterday were deeply disturbing and, if true, then we agree that Chief Prine has no place in the Mobile Police Department, much less as its chief,” the attorneys said. “Any chief who would tell his officers ‘Don’t pay attention to what I say in the media, f— the public,’ is setting a dangerous example. If this behavior took place as alleged by the mayor, we only wish it would have come to light sooner. Then Mayor Stimpson and the city council could have taken action sooner to ensure MPD’s officers practiced what they preached in de-escalation and rebuilding public trust. If they had, Jawan Dallas might be alive today.”

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

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