Lawsuit against Texarkana PD alleges racial discrimination

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 14, 2008, 5:00am

TEXARKANA, Texas – Not new to racial discrimination lawsuits, Arkansas resident Allen Bishop has added one more party to his ongoing allegations. This time it is the Texarkana (Texas) Police Department.

Proceeding as his own attorney, Bishop filed the federal lawsuit Aug. 13 in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Bishop accuses the police department of not hiring him because of his race. He alleges the agency wanted other white applicants to advance despite their lower test scores.

Bishop argues the police department forced him to travel from his home 45 miles away to Texarkana on more than one occasion.

Further, Bishop said he believes the interviewers were discriminating against him by asking, "Are you sure you want this job, cause most people hate cops until they need one?" or "Are you sure you want this job because sometimes the cops are shot at?"

Bishop states that the police department requested information on the numerous lawsuits that he has filed over the years. Although Bishop says he was barred from providing the information due to a confidentiality clause, he did provide the requested information.

In addition to the Texarkana Police Department, Bishop has filed racial discrimination complaints against Sebastian City, Ark., Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart and OK Foods, among others.

"I was not a defendant in any of the lawsuits, and do not know what they have to do with my qualifications as a police officer, unless the Texarkana Police Department anticipate some activity within their organization that would trigger a lawsuit," Bishop said.

Shortly thereafter, Bishop received two letters stating he was disqualified from employment due to his "less than honorable" discharge from the U.S. Army.

Bishop is asking the court to award him $32,898 as the salary he would have earned from the police department "had he not been discriminated against."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven will preside over the litigation.

Case No: 5:2008cv00141

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Tyson Foods
2200 West Don Tyson Parkway
Springdale, AR 72762

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