BEAUMONT – A police officer is suing an east Texas city, alleging he was demoted due to racial discrimination.
Gary Pullen filed a lawsuit against the city of Jasper on Aug. 29 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas, alleging he was discriminated against because he is white.
According to the complaint explains that Pullen, a ten-year veteran of the Jasper Police Department, made an arrest of a black citizen with an outstanding warrant on Mar. 28, 2015, but despite treating the resident fairly and supportive video evidence, he was disciplined by then-Chief of Police Robert MacDonald.
“On or about Apr. 23, 2015, the City of Jasper, Texas, acting by and through Robert MacDonald, the then-Chief of Police, demoted the plaintiff effective Apr. 29, 2015, without cause from Sergeant to patrol officer (more than two ranks, in violation of the policies of the Jasper Police Department), denying his right to wear sergeant stripes and removing all the supervisory authority he had over other officers and civilian employees of the city,” court papers say.
Pullen additionally asserts the same person was subsequently arrested for a minor offense by an African American officer to which MacDonald gave said officer a promotion.
Jasper City Council discussed Pullen’s order only to take no action, the suit says.
According to the original petition, MacDonald did not punish some Jasper officers who were involved in “numerous” other incidents that “resulted in the arrest of citizens, damaged property, dangerous situations and even fatalities.”
“Those officers were not subjected to demotion or investigation as was done with the plaintiff, who lawfully arrested a citizen,” the suit says.
Pullen further argues that the former chief’s purported actions caused him “to be disregarded for other desirous positions in law enforcement.”
Consequently, the complainant seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
He is represented by attorneys Lance P. Bradley and T. Phillip Brent of the law firm Bradley, Steele & Pierce, LLP in Port Arthur.
Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 1:16-CV-0366