Sunday, March 02, 2003

Murfreesboro Nut Cop

I've only seen two stories on Murfreesboro police officer Lieutenant Alvin Randolph, both a couple of weeks ago. Searching the Tennessean, News-Sentinel and other smaller papers has turned up nothing more.

It began when Randolph was working his off-duty job as a school bus driver for Rutherford County schools. The story says:
''A bus pulled up,'' Martin said � a school bus driven by a uniformed Murfreesboro police officer, Lt. Alvin Randolph.

''He opened the little sliding door, and he told us to get on the bus,'' Tigg said.

'' 'Get on the bus? What do I have to get on the bus for?' '' Tigg recalled having said. ''He said, 'Get on the � bus. If you don't get on the � bus, you're going to jail for life.' ''

'' 'For life? How're we going to jail just because we ain't going to be on no bus?' ''

It was the beginning of an ordeal that left Martin, Tigg and five other acquaintances shaken and confused. Those involved said they were left wondering why a police officer drove to their neighborhood, pointed a gun at a bystander, struck Martin in the head with his baton and called in backup to arrest four of them Tuesday....

After Martin and Tigg repeatedly refused to get on the bus, Randolph called for backup, they said. Those involved said four other police officers who assisted had witnessed Randolph behaving erratically yet proceeded to arrest the four for disobeying his order to get on the bus.
Already you're wondering whether this cop was taken off duty and an investigation started. Well, he was put on paid leave and
After those who were arrested complained, Police Commissioner Bill Jones on Thursday had letters hand-delivered to Martin, Tigg, Tigg's aunt Doris Tigg and Jeffrey Peebles, telling them that disorderly conduct charges against them had been dropped and that their bond would be reimbursed.

Other than the letters, the four arrested said they had received no apologies. Smith and two other people who were ordered to board the bus but not arrested said they also had received no apologies.
But wait! It only gets better. Much, much better. The very next day:
Murfreesboro police officers were astonished when their shift's commander, Lt. Alvin Randolph, came into morning roll call on Jan. 22 and announced that, after some departmental changes, non-Christian officers and those with more than 25 years on the force should look for other jobs....

That morning, Randolph told officers at the 5:45 a.m. roll call them that ''change was coming'' in the department, the first officer said.

''If you're a Christian, put in your wish list, and if you're not, get out,'' the officer said Randolph announced. Randolph also said that officers with more than 25 years on the force would lose their jobs.

''You could tell by looking at him that there was something wrong,'' the officer said. ''You could tell that he had either been without sleep for a while, or was intoxicated, or maybe on drugs...."

As soon as roll call was over that morning, Officer John Singleton ''made a beeline to Randolph and got right up in his face,'' the officer said. ''I'm watching them standing there face to face, nose to nose. I couldn't tell what Singleton was saying, but whatever it was it must have offended Randolph, because Randolph started shouting'' a stream of cuss words.

''Then John Singleton said, 'You smell like a brewery. You need to go home and sober up.' ''

Singleton could not be reached for comment.

Randolph also took a 19-year-old civilian woman to roll call, the officer said.

The woman, whom officers identified, has a lengthy arrest record of minor offenses in both Rutherford and Coffee counties, a review of law enforcement records found. These include a citation for possession of a pipe that bore cocaine residue.

After Randolph finished telling officers at roll call about the changes they could expect, he walked over to the woman and said, ''See, I told you I'm God,'' the officer said.

''To be honest with you, it seemed like she was just as shocked'' by his behavior ''as the rest of us,'' the officer said. ''She had the same stunned look on her face'' as the officers did.

After roll call, Officer Virginia Dodson drove the woman to a location outside the county at Randolph's orders, the officer said.
The amazing part is that the events of the second day didn't come to light until almost two weeks later!

There's a bit more:
About 7:30 a.m. ''dispatch came on the radio and said, 'We need two officers at (the police department) '10-18'. And '10-18' means 'Hurry up!' or 'Quick!' Two officers were dispatched and while they were on their way, dispatch gets on the radio again and says, 'Every available officer come to the (police department) now.' I figured at that point that Randolph had shot somebody or somebody had shot him.''
This is sad, if officer Randolph is ill or stressed. But what's more disturbing is that the "Wall of Blue" has been thrown up around this and the whole thing is being tossed down the memory hole.

If anyone has more on this story, please email me: asme -at- crosswinds -dot- net. This needs to be aired out, and quick.

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