Archived Story

City subpoenaed for videotape of Crayton shooting

Published 6:46pm Friday, May 23, 2014

Lawyers representing the family of Emerson Crayton Jr. are seeking to get evidence pertaining to the investigation of the officer-involved shooting as soon as possible.

Julian McPhillips, along with attorney Eric Hutchins, are representing Kolea Burns and the estate of Crayton. They have filed to be exempt from the federal rules of discovery in order to subpoena critical evidence in danger or spoilation or other loss and to prepare expert witness.

“We have a legal right to the investigative results from the ABI,” McPhillips said. “We are asking with these subpoenas to get all videotapes of the crime scene, a 9-1-1 recording if a call was made, forensic report results and the Alexander City Police Department report. We think there is a danger of spoilation, which can mean different things could happen to the evidence including being lost, misplaced or inadvertently altered. We want to get those video tapes before something could happen.”

If the exemption is not granted, McPhillips said that it could take months before they see evidence.

Crayton was killed after an late-night incident at the Huddle House on March 8 involving an Alexander City police officer who allegedly shot into Crayton’s car.

The officer had reported that he shot in order to stop the vehicle, which he believed was attempting to run over him.

The lawyers have filed a lawsuit against the City of Alexander City, ACPD Officer Tommy Manesse, Huddle House, Huddle House owners Daniel Yates and Lynn Patterson and LeGina Watson, manager of the Huddle House on the night the shooting occurred. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court of the Middle District of Alabama, Northern Division.

“The family would like lawful justice on any level they can get it,” McPhillips said.

The plaintiffs contest that their counsel needs access to evidence from the investigation immediately in order to secure expert witnesses. McPhillips and Hutchins have also filed two subpoenas for all pertinent evidence in the case.

Hutchins said that he is working to organize a Justice for Junior march on June 7. The planned route of the march is from Cooper Community Center to the Alexander City Police Department.

“The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP and the Tallapoosa County NAACP want to have a march,” Hutchins said. “Because of the ongoing investigation of the ABI and because the district attorney’s office at this point is going to be the one responsible for taking this trial to the grand jury, we feel it is important to shed some light on what is going on behind the scenes.”

Hutchins said that a permit would be needed for the march and that he believes he has given ample notice.

“We have always accommodated and worked with police and law enforcement,” Hutchins said. “We have already reached out to the police department to find out what we can do so it won’t be a burden. In this instance, they have more than two weeks notice for us to plan this march from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 7.”

Hutchins said he has contacted the city clerk, and the matter will go before the council June 2.

Hutchins added that in addition to advocating justice for Crayton, another purpose of the march would be to address training they feel is necessary for police officers.

“We would like to push for mandatory continuing education training in the use of deadly force,” Hutchins said. “We also think there should be mandatory cultural sensitivity training, with an annual required amount of training hours to help address those sort of issues.”