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NAACP: Fired Lexington Police Officer Subjected To 'Hostile' Workplace

Lexington Police Department

The NAACP is calling on Lexington leaders to reconsider their decision to fire former police officer Jervis Middleton, who was charged with improperly passing along internal police information to racial justice protesters.

Both the Lexington Police Department and the city's Urban-County Council agreed in February that Middleton should be dismissed over the contacts. But the NAACP argues the department "set up" the officer to justify his firing.

In a statement, the group says for years the LPD permitted racist taunts against the officer, leading to a "hostile and unconstitutional work environment." The statement acknowledges Middleton violated agency policy, but says he did so because he was "unable to disregard his identity as a black man" in a workplace the group describes as "akin to the good ole boys-all white fraternity culture."

Read the full statement.

Police investigators say Middleton provided protesters with sensitive information regarding tactics during the demonstrations that consumed the department last summer. City attorney Kevin Horn argued that, by passing along the tips, Middleton was seeking not to de-escalate the situation but "inflame things."

The NAACP is urging city leaders to reexamine their decision to terminate Middleton.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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