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City officials: CPD officer stopped for DUI in Starkville


Louis Alexander

Louis Alexander



Zack Plair


The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.


A Columbus police officer will face the city council in executive session Tuesday after apparently being stopped in Starkville recently for driving under the influence.  


A Starkville police officer pulled over Sgt. Louis Alexander earlier this month, according to Starkville Police Chief Frank Nichols, but he did not specify the date.  


Nichols did not release any details of the stop, including the reason the officer initiated it, but he said Alexander wasn't charged.  


Multiple Columbus city officials, who spoke on the condition they would not be named, said CPD Chief Fred Shelton notified them of the stop Friday morning just before The Dispatch's original story on the incident published.  


The officials indicated Alexander had failed a breathalyzer after he was stopped. Instead of Alexander being arrested, a Columbus city employee was called to pick him up.  


Officials said the council intends to discuss the personnel matter during its meeting Tuesday, which starts at 5 p.m.  


Columbus Public Information Officer Joe Dillon acknowledged the incident on Friday to The Dispatch but offered no details.  


"The city of Columbus is aware of the incident and is currently conducting an investigation," he said.  


Alexander is a part-time patrol sergeant who works 20 hours per week, Dillon said. However, city sources said Alexander apparently claimed to be the "interim assistant chief" when he was pulled over.  


Dillon, as well as other city officials, said there is no such position at CPD.  


Nichols, when contacted Friday morning, defended his department's actions.  


"I understand because of who it is that it makes it political," Nichols said. "We don't get involved in stuff like that. If there was a reason to charge (Alexander), I believe he would have been charged."  


The Dispatch has submitted a written public records request to SPD, as well as Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, City Clerk Lesa Hardin and City Attorney Chris Latimer for all records related to the stop, including officer body camera footage.


Zack Plair is the managing editor for The Dispatch.



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