Officer accused of racial profiling sues over punishment

May 8, 2019

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee police officer is suing the town of Smyrna over the handling of allegations that he racial profiled a 13-year-old black boy.

The Daily News Journal reports Smyrna Police Officer James Hicks filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday.

Shantay Peairs filed a complaint in December that said her son was walking home from playing basketball when he was stopped and searched by Hicks. The lawsuit says Hicks had been patrolling an area struggling with package thefts and saw the child walking near front porches.

Town Manager Brian Hercules said an investigation determined Hicks didn’t “communicate professionally” with the child’s parent. The Hispanic officer was suspended without pay, demoted and required to undergo diversity training.

His lawyer, Joyce Grimes Safley, says the “groundless” allegations damaged Hicks’ reputation.


Information from: The Daily News Journal, http://www.dnj.com