Councilman warns on radio show he’ll ‘put down’ Alabama cop after his DUI charge

A former city councilman has been sentenced after warning during his morning radio show that he would “put down” an Alabama police officer, federal prosecutors said.

The livestreamed threat came months after the officer had arrested the then-elected Evergreen city councilman, Luther James Upton, 74, on a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in 2020, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama.

“I dare him to stop me again. ‘Cuz when he pulls me over, I’m going to put him down,” Upton is accused of telling listeners during his radio show called The Power Pig on 101.1 FM WPPG in May 2021, according to prosecutors and a superseding indictment.

Upton pleaded guilty to one count of interstate threatening communications and was sentenced to three years of probation on June 8, the district attorney’s office said.

McClatchy News contacted Upton’s listed attorney for comment on June 13.

In November 2020, Upton was accused of drinking and driving — resulting in an accident, the news release said.

Before the Alabama police officer arrested him, Upton allegedly tried pressuring the officer into letting him go by mentioning his status as a city council member, according to prosecutors.

Months after his arrest, on May 18, 2021, Upton discussed the officer during his radio show and threatened to “take care of” him, the superseding indictment said.

While live on air, Upton said he was urging the Evergreen city mayor “to do whatever you’ve got to do to get rid of that son of a b-----, OK?,” according to the court documents. “Because if you don’t, I am.”

“I’m just telling ya now, I’m tired of it.”

When Upton pleaded guilty in February, he “admitted that he meant to convey a true threat to injure the victim officer,” prosecutors said in the news release.

As part of his probation, Upton is forbidden from drinking alcohol as well as driving a car until his probation officer deems it appropriate for him to drive, according to a district court’s judgment.

Among other terms, Upton must also take occasional drug tests for potential drug abuse detection, and he has to participate in substance abuse and mental health treatment, according to the judgment.

Evergreen is roughly 80 miles southwest of Montgomery.

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