According to the Duty Officer’s Log for that night, at 1840 hours (or 6:40pm), a call was received from an undisclosed source (exempt from disclosure under the FOIA) to assist the Samson Police Department in securing multiple crime scene locations in and around the area after a murder spree rocked the community. The undisclosed source is a topic of hot debate, as federal troops are not to be utilized without the direct order from either the Governor of the state, or the President of the United States.
One interesting document also obtained through the FOIA, is an e-mail to a list of multiple contacts (exempt from disclosure under the FOIA) which appears to be the response by the Director of Public Safety at Fort Rucker to said inquiry. His response reiterates that at 1840 hours, a call was received to assist the police, yet who the call was from initiating the event still remains a mystery to the public. This is the key to solving whether this went against federal law.
This federal law in question is known as the Posse Comitatus Act, which was passed on June 18, 1878. In short, it clearly limits the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The act prohibits uniformed armed services, such as the Air Force, National Guard, and in this case, the Army, from participating in law enforcement and police matters. In Samson, Alabama, some argue this was exactly what happened.
To view the partially redacted documents, and decide for yourself, head to: