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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Birmingham Mayor’s In-Law Shot Last Week in the Ensley Community. BPD Has Suppressed News of the Shooting.

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on June 20, 2024

IMAGE: Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin crying over skyrocketing violent crime in his city (2022).

An Editorial Opinion


An immediate family member of Birmingham First Lady Kendra Nicole Woodfin (nee Morris) was shot and critically wounded in the Ensley community last week.  The Birmingham Police Department (BPD), which releases daily reports on shootings in and around the city, has suppressed all news regarding this violent crime.


Mayor Randal Woodfin has failed to publicly disclose this shooting, as well.

 

The victim of this shooting remains hospitalized in critical condition.  We are aware of the victim’s name, the circumstances surrounding this shooting, the critical nature of the injuries sustained by this crime victim, and where he is hospitalized.  Out of respect for this crime victim and the Morris family, we are not naming the victim until the BPD releases his name in one of its daily briefings on gun-related crimes in the city.


Normally, BPD's daily gun-related crime briefings are issued at the time of the crime. This BPD protocol was not followed in the case of Mayor Woodfin's in-law.

 

BPD's suppression of a daily news release on the shooting in this case has not been explained by Mayor Woodfin, or City Hall, or the police department. 

 

Additionally, news of the shooting has not appeared in any local media.  For example, AL.com has not reported on this violent crime in any fashion. This Birmingham-based news organization receives city tax dollars (that are funneled through another local news group) to publish favorable articles on Mayor Woodfin.  Carol Robinson, AL.com’s beat reporter who covers BPD daily crime reports, has not published a single article about the shooting of Mayor Woodfin’s in-law or the victim’s critical condition.

 

It should be noted that the shooting incident involving Mayor Woodfin’s in-law occurred during the same week that two state lawmakers introduced a bill to take over Birmingham's police department until law and order can be restored in the city.  Presently, the BPD operates with only 430 police officers of the 900 it needs to be fully staffed.


While Mayor Woofin enjoys a bevy of bodyguards for police protection, his in-law did not. Now, this shooting victim is fighting for his life.

 

The last time a Birmingham police chief tampered with government records for the purpose of suppressing a crime report, he was indicted on December 10, 1990, tried in May 1991, and found guilty of violating §13A–10–12(a)(2), Alabama Code (1975) on May 24,1991.   Authur Deutcsh was that man.  Chief Deutcsh, along with officer Bob Howell and Jail Administrator Robert Stone, were convicted of this offense.

 

It's too early to tell whether history is repeating itself with respect to current Police Chief Scott Thurmond and his handling of city crime records involving the shooting of Mayor Woodfin’s in-law.

4 Comments

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han gu
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Jun 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

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Donald V. Watkins
Donald V. Watkins
Jun 20

This 31-year-old crime victim did nothing wrong. He is in the hospital fighting for his life. He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was no reason for the Birmingham police department to cover up this shooting, unless they were ordered to do so by Chief Scott Thurmond for political reasons. I am praying for this crime victim tonight and hoping he recovers from this horrible ordeal.

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Kamar Jones
Kamar Jones
Jun 20
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Transparency is always a pillar to building trust. Even if in good intentions, it's a stain on trust when you hide problems, barriers, and issues. If you confront the issues, you can typically solve the problem. It's like making your bed without remove old dirty clothes. Placing the sheets and comforters, still show lumps and the smell from the dirty clothing. It will infest the sheets and comforter after a while.

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Donald V. Watkins
Donald V. Watkins
Jun 20

Suppressing crime reports is NOT the answer to curbing skyrocketing violent crime in Birmingham. Fighting crime with a fully staffed 900-member police department is the answer. How many people have to die on the streets of Birmingham before City Hall understands this lesson?

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