An accusatory email alleging misconduct in the case of a Bella Vista officer-involved shooting and expressing displeasure in that officer later becoming a police chief was sent to several county and state law enforcement agencies Friday.
Matthew Holland, who wrote the extensive letter, states the Sulphur Springs City Council should have never hired Coleman Brackney as their police chief after he served jail time in the shooting death of James Ahern following a high-speed pursuit in January 2010.
Brackney was convicted of negligent homicide and served about a month in jail after a court found Brackney used excessive force on Ahern. He was fired from the Bella Vista Police Department and later became Sulphur Springs police chief in March.
“Based on the information I have received and/or reviewed, many of the citizens of Sulphur Springs and other citizens throughout the Northwest Arkansas community are outraged by the decision of Sulphur Springs leaders to hire a killer,” Holland’s letter states. “Given your involvement in the former case involving the shooting death of Mr. James Ahern by Mr. Coleman Brackney, I feel that you have a right, as do all county residents, to be informed of the many elements of the case that were either strategically concealed or conveniently omitted by investigators and/or the prosecution.”
Holland lays out, in a 36-page document, the aspects of the case he said he believes were mishandled.
The letter is written to Benton County Circuit Court Judge Robin Green. It was also sent to at least a dozen other local, state and federal officials or groups, including Benton County Judge Bob Clinard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Bella Vista Police Department and Sulphur Springs city officials.