Minden council reinstates second officer fired for alleged Facebook comments

Local

MINDEN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A pair of police officers fired for allegedly posting racial comments on Facebook are both now back on the force.

Witnesses testified before a civil service board Thursday that Shane and Shawn Griffith were not responsible for the posts.

The brothers were terminated from the Minden Police Department in September after comments using racial slurs surfaced on social media that appeared to be made by the Griffiths in 2012.

Multiple witnesses, including Mayor Terry Gardner and Police Chief Steve Cropper, testified before the board that Councilman Herbert Taylor admitted during a phone conversation he was responsible for the social media posts. Taylor presented the posts to the mayor, which resulted in the officers’ terminations. Taylor denied the claims.

“He said a zebra does not change his stripes,” said Shane Griffith. “Well, I think his previous criminal record, obviously that we’ve proved tonight, half of that’s true because a zebra doesn’t change his stripes. Because he’s sure the person that he’s been all his life.”

Shane Griffith was reinstated to his post with the police department at the end of October after his attorney argued the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights was violated. During Thursday’s proceedings, brother Shawn was reinstated to his position with back pay and benefits for the same reason.

“I’ve been knowing since the start that I didn’t do it,” said Shawn Griffith. “And I’ve trusted in my brother and we kept reassuring each other that the truth was gonna come out. And finally it did.”

The city’s representative refused to participate in the proceedings and declined to show any evidence of why Shawn Griffith’s firing should stand.

Both brothers said they are looking forward to continuing to serve citizens of Minden.

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