Black Officer Fired For Providing Information To Protesters, Files Lawsuit

Former Lexington Police Department Officer Jervis Middleton has filed a lawsuit against his former employer because he feels he was fired for providing sensitive information about the police force to Black Lives Matter protesters.

Middleton joined the police force in 2007 and worked his way up to the position of sergeant. Shortly after his promotion, Middleton found himself at the center of a public investigation. An unnamed woman accused Middleton and his colleagues of surveilling her home after she ended a sexual relationship with him. A jury acquitted Middleton of official misconduct, but the police moved forward with an internal investigation. Ultimately, Middleton settled with the police department and he was demoted to patrol.

In the following year, Middleton found himself at the center of another police investigation. Members of the local police force accused Middleton of providing Black Lives Matter protesters with sensitive information regarding the police force. However, Middleton says he only shared information with citizens that was already publicly available. He alleges that citizens filed 30 informal racial bias complaints between 2018 and 2019, but none resulted in disciplinary action. Furthermore, he claims that more than 1,000 complaints were filed against the police force within the last decade, but only one resulted in a termination. In addition, Middleton says he was often referred to as "token boy" and "chief's boy" by condescending colleagues.

“I didn’t grow up wanting to be a cop, it was a calling,” Middleton told Atlanta Black Star.

“I didn’t find that out until later in life, but it was. So to be treated the way they treated me also makes me think about how Black males get treated when police have their mindset on accusing someone or charging them. Regardless of what the evidence comes out, they still do it. So if they’re doing it to me, some of these complaints that we hear on the street, they’re definitely doing them.”

After being investigated by the police department, Middleton was terminated from the police force on February 18. He has repeatedly claimed that he was fired in part because of his decision to provide protesters with information. In response, he has filed a lawsuit against the police department.

“We’ve got a culture within the Lexington Police Department that’s got a history of really turning the other cheek to racist behavior,” Middleton's attorney, Sam Aguiar, said.

“And I hope a lawsuit like this can uncover more of it through discovery, and can really prompt them to rethink the way they do things. To think twice before they start engaging this type of behavior again.”

The Lexington Police Department has not commented on the lawsuit as of yet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content