LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — New legal trouble for Little Rock’s Police Chief as multiple employees join in on another lawsuit against him filed Tuesday.
There are now three lawsuits against Chief Keith Humphrey brought by 9 current employees, including several high-ranking officers, all filed in just two weeks.
The suit filed Tuesday is over Freedom of Information Act requests by civilian employee Kandice Hause and officers Russell King, Christopher McCauley, and Rusty Rothwell.
The four say they’ve repeatedly requested but been denied copies of their own personnel files.
All of the employees say Humphrey initiated an internal investigation into them. In the suit the employees say the investigation found no wrongdoing, but Humphrey overturned that decision and disciplined them in retaliation.
Attorney Degan Clow say his clients want their personnel files to see if the Chief was out of line.
“That’s the basis of this whole thing, we think that’s why they’re not turning it over. We think there’s something in there they’re hiding, there’s something they’re not being forthcoming with,” Clow said.
Clow says he’s hopeful this suit will be solved quickly, but there could be more legal action taken depending on what is found in the personnel files.
A Little Rock Police spokesman directed KARK to a statement that released for the last two lawsuits we inquired about, saying the Chief and department do not comment on any pending litigation.
This is a statement made by the Little Rock Black Police Officer Association:
“We are in full support of Chief Keith Humphrey and have total confidence in his
ability to lead the City of Little Rock’s Police Department. As the top manager in a
police department, the chief has the final say on all hiring, firing and promotion
decisions. Lower-level managers provide recommendations on personnel decisions
that must be approved by the police chief. The Little Rock Police Chief has a large
department with hundreds of officers under his line of supervision, all of them
putting their lives at risk protecting the community.
One of the most important duties Chief Humphrey has is to evaluate the
performance of all officers. It is an essential function of the job that impacts the
careers of every officer but more importantly the lives of the citizens of Little Rock.
We applaud Chief Humphrey in calling out poor performance and addressing it
immediately. Not surprisingly, employees sometimes reject constructive criticism
of their employment and instead embark upon a path to blame others and deny the
need for improvement in their behavior or performance. Unfortunately, Chief
Humphrey’s willingness to address poor performance has led to finger pointing
and lawsuits. Most officers, as well as the citizens of Little Rock would prefer that
employees embrace the constructive criticism and address the areas in need of
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is not the voice of all officers nor the Citizens of
Little Rock. The FOP said in its statement that this matter should be sorted out in a
court of law but in the next breath contradicted itself and ask that an internal
investigation be performed by the Mayor. The officers who filed the lawsuit could
have chosen that investigative option but instead elected to file a lawsuit. They
have spoken, now it is important that the matter be resolved in their forum of
choice, which is the Pulaski County Circuit Court.
In the meantime, we strongly encourage Chief Humphrey to continue to demand
excellence from all employees of the Police Department especially those in upper
management. We and the thoughtful citizens of Little Rock fully support your