Meridian police lieutenant arrested on Alabama coast

The Orange Beach Police Department charged Lt. John Griffith with DUI
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 3:26 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -A Meridian police officer was arrested in a popular, Alabama beach resort community.

The Orange Beach Police Department charged Lt. John Griffith with DUI Wednesday. Orange Beach police said dispatch received several calls about an erratic driver heading south on the Foley Beach Express around noon. Police said Griffith was pulled over near the Foley Beach Express toll bridge plaza and was arrested after refusing to take a breathalyzer.

Griffith was booked into the Orange Beach jail and has been released. Orange Beach police say Griffith was in his personal vehicle when he was pulled over and taken into custody.

Lt. Griffith was in Orange Beach to speak with a company that deals with call centers. The meeting was about the new cameras being put up around the city of Meridian.

The city of Meridian released a statement late Thursday afternoon about the incident:

“We are disappointed in what happened. Lt. John Griffith is a long-term employee of the City. At this moment we are waiting to hear from acting Chief Patrick Gale on his recommendations.”

This isn’t the first time Griffith has made news headlines. Griffith was suspended for nearly 20 days in May for not reporting a racial slur that was used by one of the officers under his supervision. That officer, Joey Lawn, allegedly called an African American colleague the “N” word while at a K9 training session in Alabama in 2018. Lawn was terminated June 3.

Griffith, who was a captain at the time of the investigation, was demoted to lieutenant and eventually re-instated in early June.

Griffith has been in law enforcement nearly 25 years and was one of the top candidates for the next Meridian police chief.

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