Lexington asks judges to dismiss lawsuits by fired officer

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Jervis Middleton (Photo: Lexington Police Department)(WDKY)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The city of Lexington is asking state and federal judges to dismiss lawsuits filed by officer Jervis Middleton who was fired in February.

In April, Middleton filed a lawsuit alleging that a culture of racial discrimination contributed to his dismissal. Middleton was fired after being accused of providing information to racial injustice protesters in Lexington.

Middleton filed a different lawsuit in March appealing his firing, saying he was repeatedly referred to as the “token” officer and pet of the police chief.

Lawyers for the city argue the city is immune from one of Middleton’s lawsuits because his actions violated a contract he entered with the city.

The city also responded to Middleton’s federal lawsuit which alleges the department has a history of giving Black officers harsher penalties than white officers. In the motion to dismiss, the city’s lawyers “deny any inference of racism from plaintiff’s depiction of the disciplinary action.”

Middleton’s lawyers responded to the city’s call for the lawsuits to be dismissed. In the response, Middleton’s lawyer argues that granting the city immunity whenever a contract is involved would “render it impossible for Officers to seek enforcement of the rights and benefits for which the contract was negotiated.”

Judges are expected to hear arguments in both cases. Court records show that dates for those hearings have not been set.

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