Story at a glance:
- Black and white Tennessee officers reported their department’s alleged racism to Black Lives Matter.
- The police chief allegedly left a Ku Klux Klan magazine in a locker.
- The city manager fired an officer for inciting a protest.
Black and white Tennessee officers reported their department’s alleged racism to Black Lives Matter (BLM).
The department of Millersville, Tenn., allegedly has a culture of harassment and intimidation, so Robert Black created a fake Facebook to contact his local BLM chapter, The Daily Beast reported.
During that time, the assistant police chief, Dustin Carr, was under investigation for allegedly assaulting his wife, who was herself allegedly involved in an affair with a drug suspect. Black and other police officers claim they were fired for not complying with “Blue Lives Matter.”
In addition to questioning the police department management, Black endured alleged sexual harassment, including a female officer grabbing his genitals, and a second incident in which a male allegedly made disparaging comments about Black’s biracial son.
In a new lawsuit, Joshua Barnes, a former Millersville Police sergeant who is Black, claims the department harbors a culture of harassment and intimidation. Robert Black, who is white with a biracial son, has joined Barnes in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit’s three defendants are Millersville Police Chief Mark Palmer, Assistant Chief Dustin Carr and the city of Millersville. Palmer told The Daily Beast that all comments must be addressed to the city manager, which did not return requests for comment, and neither did Carr.
Palmer and the city had already in the past faced racial discrimination allegations. In 2015, two Black officers sued Palmer for racial discrimination, claiming that each of them were told “I don’t like n-----s.”
One of the men, Anthony Hayes, claimed Palmer took him to a former Ku Klux Klan leader’s home, where Hayes “was subjected to an extended conversation in the presence of KKK memorabilia.”
Hayes claimed that Palmer placed a copy of a KKK magazine in his police locker, with a sticky note that read, “This was left for you—don’t let your subscription run out.”
“You can’t find this anywhere,” Black said of the KKK magazine. “That’s why I hit up BLM reps. I was like, ‘hey y’all...’”
In their response to the lawsuit, the city denied the allegations against Palmer. The city manager’s office has not responded to a request for comment from Changing America.
Brian McCartherenes, the other officer who sued Palmer, said they were being forced out of their post after they accused the department of racism.
According to a police memo, McCartherenes was fired for alleged racist conduct, telling a new Black officer at the time, “At the end of the day, remember you are Black.” McCartherenes says he intended the comment as a warning about the risks of the job.
Robert Black was fired by the city manager for inciting a protest on Sept. 11, 2020, but the protest was relatively peaceful without anything getting damaged or anyone getting arrested, contrary to the warnings of the then-city manager who allegedly told Black in private to “tell everyone who is involved in this [BLM protest] that we are coming after them next!”
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