Police officers take risks and suffer inconveniences to protect the lives, defend civil liberties, and secure the safety of fellow citizens, which, thus, makes police work one of the more noble and selfless occupations in society. A Law Enforcement Oath of Honor is taken by each police officer, which is a public affirmation that the officer will adhere to ethical standards. Unfortunately, two police officers in Alabama were definitely not adhering to ethical standards when they allegedly burned homes in the west Birmingham area.
Last month, Curtis Jeffrey Thornton, 27, was charged in at least 12 arson fires at unoccupied homes in western Birmingham, and on Thursday, a second officer is also being charged in connection with the same fires. Thornton is charged with two counts of second-degree arson, one count of attempted second-degree arson and one count of criminal mischief in connection with fires in the town of Warrior. To date, Thornton has only been charged in one Birmingham fire, which was the last in a string of 14 blazes dating back to around May 9 of this year. The last fired was started on May 20.
Birmingham Police spokesman Sgt. Johnny Williams, Jr., said that a second West Precinct officer is being held in the city jail on a 48-hour extension. The officer was taken into custody early today during his shift, but his name is not being released pending formal charges. The officer is thirty-five years old and has been a member of the police force since August 2009. The police have said the two officers were in the same rookie class.