Former officer fired by LRPD gets access to records looking into issues with Chief Keith Humphrey

Investigates

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A former Little Rock police officer will be able to see a full investigative file and report completed by a city human resources investigator into allegations of wrongdoing by the chief and police department.

Charles Starks is currently suing the city, claiming he was retaliated against by Little Rock Police Department Chief Keith Humphrey.

This week Starks’ lawyer filed a motion asking for the human resources report to be released citing an email by the investigator who complied it, Loretta Cochran.

Cochran, who was hired by the city in 2020 to help investigate allegations of wrongdoing involving Humphrey, sent the email to the city’s head of human resources, Stacey Witherell. It focused on the firing of Officer David Mattox, which Cochran described as “a clear indication of racial discrimination, hostile working conditions, and retaliation” by Humphrey, Asst. Chief Crystal Haskins and Lt. Brittney Gunn.

On Tuesday, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Welch ordered the city to release the full report to Starks and his attorney. The report will be under a protective order.

The city fired Starks in 2019 over a deadly shooting where Starks, who is white, shot and killed a Black driver during a traffic stop.

The Pulaski County prosecutor’s office did not file charges against Starks, saying the shooting was justified.

Starks appealed his firing by the department and was reinstated by a Pulaski County judge in 2020. Earlier this month an appellate judge ordered the circuit court to re-evaluate the case.

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