MINDEN, La. (KSLA) — A one-time fired Minden police officer and another officer who is fighting to regain his job “didn’t do this,” their attorney said when asked about accusations that they made racist Facebook posts years before being hired by the Police Department.
Attorney Pamela Breedlove says during a civil service hearing Thursday evening she will prove that her clients made no derogatory social media posts.
“My client has been out of work for a long time for something he never did,” she said, speaking about fired Officer Shawn Griffith.
Breedlove and Griffith appeared in Webster District Court in downtown Minden on Tuesday after filing suit against the city to get Griffith’s job back.
Breedlove filed suit because, she said, Griffith was not allowed to have his firing appeal heard by a civil service board after the board claimed Griffith was not protected by civil service law.
“The district court disagreed, that they (civil service board) did have jurisdiction and should have heard the appeal,” she said.
Judge Charles Smith remanded Griffith’s employment appeal back to the civil service board to hear his case.
Breedlove said she is prepared to deliver evidentiary proof that neither Shawn Griffith, nor his brother Shane Griffith, had anything to do with alleged racist posts brought before the City Council before their firings.
When asked by KSLA News 12′s Doug Warner whether she’s asserting that someone else made the posts to make it look like the Griffith brothers were responsible, Breedlove responded “Uh huh” and said she will prove it during Thursday’s civil service hearing.
“It is good to know we are about to get to the merits so he can clear his name,” she added while walking about of district court Tuesday morning.
Shane Griffith later was reinstated to the police force after Breedlove successfully argued that proper procedure was not followed leading up to his termination.
Councilman Herbert Taylor was instrumental in pushing for the firing of both officers earlier this year.
Contacted by phone immediately after the court’s decision Tuesday, Taylor stated, “I really don’t want to comment on it at the moment.”
Taylor did say he would be at Thursday's hearing.
"He didn't do this," Breedlove repeated.
“I believe him and I think everybody else will after the hearing.”