Minden officer fired over Facebook comments reinstated with back pay

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MINDEN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – One of two Minden police officers fired last month for posting racist comments on social media is back on the job after his dismissal was overturned, and his brother who was fired for the same reason could soon be back on the job, too.

Shane Griffith was terminated by the Minden City Council on Sept. 3 after posts on Facebook surfaced showing Griffith using racial slurs.

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Last week, the civil surface board reversed the council’s decision in a unanimous vote of 4-0. Griffith’s attorney Pamela Breedlove says he has been reinstated because the city council did not follow proper parliamentary procedure.

“When the motion was made to terminate Griffith, there was no second and the Mayor declared the motion dead. A few seconds later, someone seconded it without making a new motion,” said Breedlove, who reportedly showed a video of the exchange to the Civil Service Board.

Councilman Herbert Taylor III notified the Mayor of the 2012 racist posts back in May. He says he followed the proper procedure to have Griffith terminated.

“I followed the proper parliamentary procedure,” Taylor said. “I made the motion to terminate him.”

Taylor said at least one councilmember told him they want to put the termination of Griffith back on the agenda, but Breedlove says the city doesn’t have that option.

“According to Police Officer’s Bill of Rights you have to complete investigation within 60 days and if you don’t you don’t get to start over.

Taylor also says he was also told that Griffith will receive back pay for the time after he was terminated.

Now, Breedlove says, it’s time for the city to move on.

“Minden needs to move forward. This is a good officer. He’s done good work for this city. Every time I’ve been with him, I have seen citizens as well as police officers of all colors and ages walk up to my client and give him a big hug and tell him they’re supporting him.”

Breedlove Shane Griffith’s brother, Shawn, may also be reinstated. She says he is due in district court next month for a hearing on his request to have his termination reversed and she expects the judge will rule in his favor.

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