A Birmingham police officer was arrested Wednesday, charged with “use of noxious substance” stemming from an incident that happened a year ago involving one of his coworkers.
West Precinct Officer Shaun Deane – an eight-year vet – allegedly sprayed Mace in a fellow officer’s face. He’s been taken out of service until the issue is resolved through the Birmingham Municipal Court system, officials said.
The officer who filed the charges, told WBRC that the two exchanged words, and according to the incident report, Deane put his hand on his gun and told his coworker that he would “end up in a body bag.”
The other officer says he doesn’t want to be identified, fearing retaliation, but says Deane sprayed Mace on the right side of his face.
During a city council meeting in March, the issue came up when a community activist used it as an example of mistreatment of black officers. Frank Matthews said Deane was given only 15 days off while the unnamed black officer received 30 days off.
However, Birmingham police refute that statement saying, the black officer did not receive any days off and was not punished.
They are still trying determine whether all of this was horse play or intentional, but the victim says: “There’s nothing playful about it, Mace if very serious”.
“I couldn’t even wrap my mind around what was really happening,” the accusing officer said. “I could possibly be able to process the situation if it would have been a citizen, but this was a fellow officer. It took me to a place in my mind that I couldn’t even process at that time.”
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