Shreveport Police Detective Rod Demery has filed a lawsuit against Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw and the City of Shreveport, surrounding the investigation of Shreveport firefighters at fire station 8.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday, was to stop what Demery called a retaliatory transfer. Caddo Asst. District Attorney Dale Cox says a “credible witness” came forward on Thursday, August 14, saying supervisors at SPD and SFD knew about the prostitution incident weeks before the five firefighters were arrested.
The same day the witness came forward, Demery says Asst. Chief Hayes told him he would be transferred to evening shift patrol. Hayes told Demery a complaint had been filed with SPD's Internal Affairs Bureau for a violation of the department's media relations policy.
The day after the lawsuit was filed, a judge granted a Temporary Restraining Order to stop the police department from transferring Demery.
Det. Demery was assigned to investigate the prostitution and cruelty allegations at station 8 in July 2013, along with Louisiana State Police and the FBI.
In August 2013, Derrick Harris, Billy Glass, Clint Richardson and Jason Vaughan were charged with cruelty to the infirm and principal to prostitution. They’re accused of abusing two mentally challenged men and hiring a prostitute to have sex with one of them. Randy Chandler was only charged with cruelty to the infirm.
The witness said Chief Shaw, Deputy Chief Duane Huddleston, Asst. Chief Chipper Hayes, Capt. Bill Offer and Lt. Timothy Beckus had all been "personally advised about certain information" regarding the prostitution allegations. Plus, the SFD Fire Chief Craig Mulford and other fire dept. administration knew about it as well.
Demery says none of the officials with SPD ever told him, or any other investigator, of the information they already knew.
After the arrests of the firemen, Demery says his commander, Capt. Offer, placed him on special evaluation, due to reportedly not completing reports on time. Demery filed a grievance with the City of Shreveport's Human Resources Dept., and was able to avoid special evaluation.
The lawsuit also alleges that Capt. Offer, tried to rush his investigation of station 8 after the firefighters were arrested, then again when Chief Mulford and Tommy Carpenter were arraigned.
Demery says he’s been exposed to emotional damages, stress and embarrassment due to retaliatory harassment from the City of Shreveport, Chief Shaw, Capt. Offer, Deputy Chief Huddleston, Asst. Chief Hayes and Lt. Buckhus.
NBC 6 requested a comment from Chief Willie Shaw, but we were told he had not been served the lawsuit yet.
Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover issued this statement, which did not directly respond to the allegations in the lawsuit:
``The outstanding work that the men and women of the Shreveport Police Department cannot be attributed to one individual,’’ Mayor Cedric Glover said. ``For the past three years, the statistics show that our homicide rates and overall rates of violent crimes have reached record lows. The fact is that this work is done in concert with other detectives and investigators, as well as patrol officers and, more importantly, citizens, community and faith leaders who are out here striving every day to help make our neighborhoods safer. So while the work that any one officer does is important and appreciated, he does not stand alone in the overall effort to make Shreveport a better and safer city.’’