Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Who was that masked man? ...and he gives traffic tickets too!

Sometimes I catch up on some of the local news just by chatting with friends.  Earlier this evening I attended a meeting in Dothan, Alabama and afterwards just chatted with some friends when one asked me if I heard of the masked police officer as he continued to describe the incident.  Wow, that's a new one on me...never heard of such a thing.  Ricky Stokes is a local one-man reporter for the on-line Houston County  newspaper and here's one of the strangest law enforcement story ever reported by Mr. Stokes... Don't know what I would do if ever stopped by the masked officer but if he does ever stop me I can assure you he would be the one having to answer to the judge...why the guy hasn't been fired as of yet is beyond me! (See video and pictures below.)

Law Officer Wears Ski Mask On Traffic Stops In Houston County Al
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 31 2011 12:00 PM

HOUSTON COUNTY:    What would you do if two black males, in civilian clothes, turns blue lights on to pull you over, on an unmarked vehicle, and one of the two is wearing a ski mask?
That is happening in Houston County.
Houston County Sheriff Vice Deputy Phillip Small and a black male are pulling people over. The black male with Deputy Small is wearing a ski mask, a bullet proof vest with “ State Police” written on the back and has a big gun on him.
After numerous complaints from people not associated with each other we started looking into the allegations. What we found was alarming.
On Thursday evening we took a statement from a black male that was arrested by Deputy Phillip Small and the NINJA Masked Officer. The person was arrested for attempting to elude Small and the masked officer. The person made claims the masked officer was rough on him, putting his foot in his back and talking mean to him.
These claims are echoed by others that have come into contact with Deputy Small and the ski masked NINJA. 
You can see the interview in this article.
My Interaction With This Masked NINJA Law Enforcement Officer
On Friday I saw deputies on a traffic stop at Piggly Wiggly on Montgomery Highway. They had people in handcuffs. I pulled in to take some photographs. I was in my truck parked a distance away.
When the NINJA officer saw me he came running over to my truck with his hand on his firearm. The NINJA Officer ordered me to give him my camera or delete the pictures or I would be arrested. I said “ yes sir” and drove off.

 I did not delete the pictures and had done nothing for him to arrest me for. I left because I could not stop him from arresting me could only fight his actions in court. I had the picture and did not want him to have an opportunity to destroy the picture.
NOTE: Spoke with District Attorney Doug Valeska about this incident. Valeska said he did not know what he would arrest me for. I am media and did not interfere or obstruct them in their duties.

Who Is The Masked NINJA?
We have learned the masked NINJA is a agent of the Alabama Beverage Control Board ( ABC ). He is working undercover and does not want anyone to know who he is. That excuse is not acceptable.
We have talked with several law enforcement officers  - active and retired, and several citizens about a masked man running around on traffic stops. Not one single person has said this was acceptable practices.
One active law enforcement officer, when asking about stopping for unmarked cars,  said a masked man is not a law enforcement officer and do not stop for it. 
Friday Night Chase 
On Friday night Houston County Vice Deputy Phillip Small got into a chase of a vehicle. The chase came down 231 North and onto Horace Shepard Road. On the scene, the masked NINJA Officer was there. Running around with a bullet proof vest, a gun and on the back of the vest “ State Police”, wearing his mask. 
Law Enforcement Officers are telling me they do not know who the NINJA Officer is. All they know is, he is with Deputy Small. 
Houston – Henry County District Attorney Doug Valeska 
When Valeska was asked about this masked NINJA, Valeska responded “ what?”. He has no knowledge of a ski masked NINJA being on traffic stops and interacting with the public.  Sheriff Hughes has been notified of this incident and speaking with Captain Gonzalez about it. 
RSN Practice About Undercover Officers 
This web site has gone to great pains to make sure undercover officers are not in pictures.  We debated all week end about this article. We have no desire to hamper their drug investigations.  However, we have found no one that has approved of a masked person  being on scenes and participating on traffic stops. We have had numerous complaints on Deputy Small and the ski masked NINJA. Also complaints that Small threatened people when he left his camera on the scenes of search warrants.  
Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes needs to address this problem as does Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. A situation could turn deadly in a hurry when someone bails out of a vehicle, in plain clothes, wearing a ski mask. In no way is this acceptable and in my 35 years of being in and around law enforcement I have never heard such garbage. 
UPDATED at 1:05pm: Rickey has just spoken to Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes who advised Rickey that the matter had been addressed and the issue of wearing ski masks will be halted immediatly.

UPDATED: Law Officer Wears Ski Mask On Traffic Stops In Houston County Al

UPDATED: Law Officer Wears Ski Mask On Traffic Stops In Houston County Al

UPDATED: Law Officer Wears Ski Mask On Traffic Stops In Houston County Al

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