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Attorney claims police officer is victim, unfairly targeted

Sonya Edwards said the matter was made public by a high ranking administrator.
The attorney for a suspended Dothan police officer said her client is the victim of a minor domestic dispute and not the aggressor. Cpl. Rae Monica Carney was placed on administrative leave after a domestic incident was reported at her Dothan home early Monday.

Sonya C. Edwards, who represents Carney, said in an email release that no allegations have been made disputing her client is the victim in the matter. “The Dothan Police Department nonetheless suspended Corporal Carney pending an internal affairs investigation,” Edwards said.

Carney, according to sources, used her department issued car to block the automobile belonging to her boyfriend from leaving her home. A supervisor on duty at the time confiscated the car.

Edwards said the matter was made public by a high ranking administrator. “That information was publicized by Major Steve Parrish via e-mails to members of the media,” the attorney said.

“Major Parrish did not send us an email but did return a phone call seeking comment regarding the situation with Corporal Carney,” said WDHN News Director Ken Curtis. “He would only release that the officer had been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation. Otherwise, he refused to comment because Carney’s situation was a personnel matter and specifics could not be released,” Curtis said.

“The department's motives of suspending Corporal Carney, investigating her when she was the victim, and then publicizing the matter are questionable in light of Corporal Carney's pending discrimination and constitutional claims against the department,” Edwards said.

Carney was suspended and placed on department probation earlier this year after making what some considered inappropriate posts to her personal Facebook page. Police Chief Greg Benton said the posts violated department policy.

The Dothan Personnel Board later heard an appeal of the disciplinary action and found Benton had to authority to take the action.

Carney has appealed the case to Houston County Circuit Court.

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