KATV reports on a statement from the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police calling for an investigation of Police Chief Keith Humphrey as a result of allegations in two lawsuits that he’d retaliated against five officers over differences in handling the Charles Starks case.
Starks killed Bradley Blackshire after a traffic stop last year for suspicion of driving a stolen car. Humphrey fired Starks for violating department policy during the stop. Circuit Judge Tim Fox reinstated Starks. Some in the department defended Starks’ action and some said his investigation was rushed under pressure from Humphrey.
Two suits have been filed by five officers, including Assistant Chiefs Hayward Finks and Alice Fulk. Humphrey has not responded directly, but a friend and legal adviser of his, retired Judge Marion Humphrey, called me yesterday to say the suits were meritless and amounted to little more than sour grapes by Finks and Fulk, who’d applied for the chief’s jobs. He said they amounted to objections about something that was the chief’s sole prerogative, how he does his job. He said no one who’s sued has lost rank or pay. The suits say he’s been hostile and given negative evaluations.
The police union said Thursday in a written statement that it “vehemently condemns retaliatory actions taken by management against our members, and we will not allow it to occur without a fight.”
“The allegations made against Chief Humphrey are very serious in nature, and they should be heard in a court of law … Given the nature of the allegations made against Chief Humphrey, The Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police is calling on Mayor Frank Scott Jr. to initiate an investigation into these allegations in the interest of transparency and accountability, to determine if the policies of the Little Rock Police Department or the City of Little Rock have been violated,” the statement says, in part.
Fulk and Finks have been FOP members. It amounts to political piling on. The allegations ARE scheduled to be heard in a court of law, unless the court dismisses them for failure to state an adequate claim.