April 5, 2022

On April 4, 2020, recent University of Alabama graduate Brittany Coleman was on her way to celebrate her birthday with breakfast. She and her boyfriend were driving in separate cars, with Brittany following a few car lengths behind. A Brookside officer pulled her over for allegedly tailgating her boyfriend’s car, then forced her to stand handcuffed in the hot Alabama sun for more than 30 minutes as he searched it. He issued her a citation for tailgating and for marijuana possession. The court dropped the possession charge because the police did not actually find marijuana. The officer told her that, if not for the pandemic, he would have arrested her. Instead, he ordered her car towed, even though she was fully able to legally drive it away from the scene. Even though she did nothing wrong, Brookside forced Brittany to pay nearly $1,000 in towing fees, fines and court costs.