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Though the strained Samson Police Department was no doubt glad to have U.S. Army military police on hand to direct traffic during last week's tragic shooting spree, it appears that the troops were deployed without the proper authorization and in possible violation of federal law.
An inquiry by the U.S. Army has been opened to find out how and why 22 active duty troops from Fort Rucker, Ala. were placed on the streets of the town of Samson during the shooting spree, which took the lives of 11 people on March 10, reported CNSNews.com on Wednesday.
Harvey Perritt, spokesman for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va., told CNSNews.com on Monday that the military police soldiers, along with the provost marshal were sent to Samson.
“The purpose for sending the military police, the authority for doing so, and what duties they performed is the subject of an ongoing commander’s inquiry--directed by the commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command," Perritt said. “In addition to determining the facts, this inquiry will also determine whether law, regulation and policy were followed.”
The Associated Press reports that state officials said the deployment of the soldiers "was requested neither by Republican Gov. Bob Riley nor the White House, which typically is required by law for soldiers to operate on U.S. soil."
“Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both,” the law states.