Police unions to barbecue to help defend officers fired in videotaped beating | Breaking News from The Birmingham News - al.com

Police unions to barbecue to help defend officers fired in videotaped beating

By Jeremy Gray -- The Birmingham News

October 15, 2009, 8:02PM

Birmingham area police unions will be barbecuing next week to help pay legal fees for five former Birmingham police officers sued by a man who claims they unlawfully beat him.

Birmingham Police Sgt. Dexter Cunningham, president of the Birmingham chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, said his organization and Jefferson County FOP Lodge 64 hope to sell 500 Boston butts next Friday.

The butts, which will sell for $30 each, will raise money for the legal defense of former officers David Doran, Heath Boackle, Thomas Cleveland, Barrett Dewitt and Kenneth Prevo.

The officers were fired in May after video of the beating of Anthony Warren was made public. On Jan. 23, 2008, the officers chased Warren from Birmingham to Hoover, where a Hoover police officer was struck and injured by Warren's vehicle.

The video shows Warren crashing and being thrown from the vehicle. Moments later the five officers descend upon the unconscious man. Warren later sued the officers, the city of Birmingham and Chief A.C. Roper charging, among other claims, excessive force and negligent supervision.

Cunningham, who was also disciplined in the case, said law enforcement and business communities locally and out of state have rallied around the officers.

"People outside the state saw what happened and shook their heads in disbelief. The city and its leadership should be ashamed," he said of the firings.

City spokeswoman April Odom declined to comment, on the advice of the city's law department.

The fired officers have struggled to make ends meet since their termination, Cunningham said.

Orders for the Boston butts must be made by Monday, by calling 853-6610. They can be picked up Friday afternoon at the Birmingham FOP Lodge at 2988 Winewood Road in Birmingham.
Birmingham police beating video


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