Fired black police chief of Jasper sues city

October 17, 2012 6:31:35 AM PDT
The first black police chief of an East Texas city made infamous by a 1998 hate crime dragging death has sued over his firing.

Former Jasper police Chief Rodney Pearson on Tuesday sued the city, Mayor Mike Lout and several municipal officials. The lawsuit filed in Beaumont alleges racial discrimination and unlawful employment practices.

Lout on Tuesday denied the allegations. A woman who answered the phone Wednesday at Jasper City Hall declined to provide her name, said the city had no comment and hung up.

Pearson became chief in 2011 but was fired in June by the City Council over poor job performance. May elections led to new council members.

James Byrd Jr. was dragged to death in June 1998. Three white men were convicted of killing the black man.


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