Settlement reached in racial discrimination lawsuit against Jasper PD

Settlement reached in racial discrimination lawsuit against Jasper PD

JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit in which a white police officer claimed his former chief, who is also white, racially discriminated against him.

Federal court records did not give any details in regard to the terms of the settlement.

Officer Gary Pullen first filed the complaint in September of 2015.

According to the lawsuit filed in federal court this week, then-chief Robert MacDonald demoted Pullen from sergeant to patrol officer because Pullen arrested a black citizen who had an outstanding warrant. That opened up an investigation of Pullen's performance and led to the demotion.

According to the lawsuit, MacDonald determined the arrest was made "absent the elements to arrest and charge such citizen."

"In a situation very similar to Plaintiff's, a fellow African American officer arrested an African American male without an outstanding warrant for walking in view of the officer in a roadway during daylight, without any complaint by a third party. This officer was not demoted or investigated. He was instead praised by Chief MacDonald," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit further alleges it was common practice of MacDonald to overlook policy violations of black officers and promote or give raises to those officers.
The lawsuit alleges other incidents in which Pullen felt black officers were treated better than he was.

MacDonald resigned from the department, citing personal reasons, in September of 2015.

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