Tarrant’s Police Chief reacts to Councilman Tommy Bryant’s arrest

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 6:14 PM CST
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TARRANT, Ala. (WBRC) - Tarrant’s Police Chief is reacting to Councilman Tommy Bryant’s arrest after he said he witnessed Bryant punching Mayor Wayman Newton.

The incident was caught on camera.

Chief Wendell Major said this all stems from an argument between Councilman Bryant and Mayor Newton.

He also said this latest incident makes the city look bad.

Chief Major said officers escorted councilors to their cars following a heated city council meeting Monday night. Chief Major said he and Councilman Tommy Bryant stopped to talk in the parking lot.

That’s when Mayor Newton approached.

“I don’t know what motivated Councilor Bryant to act. I know that there was a verbal exchange between the two… and that’s when Councilor Bryant struck the mayor,” Chief Major explained.

The chief said Councilman Bryant punched the mayor in the jaw.

In the video, you can see the chief immediately grabbing Bryant following the punch while other officers rush in.

The chief then called the Jefferson County District Court to report what he saw.

“And a warrant for assault 3rd was issued for the arrest of Councilor Bryant,” said Chief Major.

“We cannot condone violence because people don’t like people’s words no matter how provocative one might think the words may be,” Chief Major said.

The chief would not repeat the words exchanged between the two men saying he reported them in the affidavit he presented to the court.

Bryant was arrested and booked in the Jefferson County Jail. He posted a $1000 bond and was released.

“I do not think it’s a good look for the City of Tarrant and we would hope that we can continue without these types of distractions in the future,” Chief Major said.

WBRC reached out to both Councilman Bryant and Mayor Newton for comment about the incident. Our calls to Mayor Newton went unanswered, and Councilman Bryant declined an interview.

We also reached out to the rest of the city council, but our calls, texts and emails have not yet been retuned.

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