Two former Huntsville police officers went before the city council tonight in an effort to get their jobs back. At the center of the hearing were videos that allegedly capture the three incidents in question. But strangely, the video was never shown.
"If it's marked exhibit one, which is the primary focus of their investigation, then they should have had the video," says Bill Davis with the Fraternal Order of Police.
But halfway through tonight's hearings, the council members made a startling revelation.
"I don't have the video," interrupted Councilman Richard Showers.
Not a single city council member had seen the video that captured the incidents that led the Chief of Police to fire South Precinct officer P.J. Lee or North Precinct officer Brett Russell.
According to city attorneys, Lee was terminated for using excessive force during incidents that occurred on Oct. 23 and Dec. 11 of 2011. In the first incident, Lee allegedly punched a handcuffed man several times and then slammed him face down onto a patrol car.
Attorneys for Lee argue the man in that case was resisting arrest. In the December incident, the department says Lee used force against a woman by yanking her out of her vehicle unprovoked during a traffic stop. Attorneys on both sides say the video proves their case, but the video never played.
When it was Officer Russell's turn, Councilman Richard Showers was hesitant to move forward. Showers said the fact that the council members hadn't seen the video here either, was grounds to continue the case.
After more than an hour of argument between council members and attorneys, a vote was taken and the continuance was approved. Bill Davis says the city isn't playing fair.
"I think that there is going to be some argument about that," says Davis.
The city council will vote on whether to uphold Officer Lee's termination at their next meeting Thursday night. Meanwhile, Officer Russell's hearing will be reset so that council members will be able to view the video in his case before taking a vote.