Kentucky Police Officer Suspended For Racial Statement During Roll Call

New Albany (Ky) police officer Jack Messe has been given a rare suspension for comments made during roll call when he criticized the giving of civil rights to minorities. A board gave him a 40 day suspension.

Messer was found guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer as well as a violation of police policy for working at a lawn care company owned by his wife.
The suspension was for 30 days for the racial remarks and 10 days for the lawn care work.

The NAACP had demanded punishment in the case.

Source: WLKY

13 thoughts on “Kentucky Police Officer Suspended For Racial Statement During Roll Call”

  1. smartalek1,

    A perfect summation.

    (Hopefully, someone like you will be helping his opponent.)

  2. “‘If I become mayor, there could be some changes in the police department, and some changes in the way the city is ran,’ he said.”

    If this Keystone Kop were to be elected, the city would is ran by an imbecile.
    Cheating the taxpayers — in this case by taking as a “sick day” a day he was clearly not too sick to work? Check.
    Claims blatantly and undeniably racist statement not evidence of his being racist? Check.
    Castigates others for lack of personal responsibility while demonstrating utter lack of personal responsibility? Check.
    Attitude of entitlement of sufficient magnitude and timbre as to approach clinical sociopathy? Check.

    Gee, if he does run for Mayor, I wonder under which political party’s banner he’ll be running?
    I also wonder whether this “scandal” will gain him more votes than it costs him?

  3. Civil rights are granted because of one’s status, not because he is a person or a citizen, at least in Kentucky. I applaud the powers that be that at least they enforced the policy of having a rule for conduct becoming an officer. That could be more widely used to improve the conduct and image of other law enforcement officers.

  4. lottakatz: I posted some articles that appeared in the local press for you, hope they address your observations.

    Blouise: top of the morning to ya’ as well.

    I was AWOL, like Buddha, for about 10 days. I had to go to Greenville, Mississippi. I’m back in Louisville, Ky now. Waiting on an update of Judge Porteous. If y’all have any info on the status of the impeachment, please post. Thanks, Frank


    NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) — Notable civil rights leader Fred D. Taylor, a prominent figure at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is in Indiana to protest police officer Jack Messer.

    It was like a church service, 40 or so people gathered to praise God, but to also encourage each other to stand firm in the face of what they all blatant racism.

    Earlier this year, New Albany police officer and city council member Jack Messer allegedly said something along the lines of: “The worst thing the US ever did was give blacks civil rights” during roll call at the police station.

    Messer has not been disciplined by the police department and his case is pending with the city’s merit board. He also missed sensitivity training because he was out sick, but was allegedly seen working for his lawn care company.

    A hearing scheduled for Messer was set for August 12, but has been postponed to September 9. The rally is at the Griffith Community Center, which is close to Messer’s house. When approached by WHAS, Messer ran into his home and


    Evening News and Tribune
    June 25, 2010
    New Albany Police Department Officer Jack Messer misses sensitivity training again
    Officer reportedly doing lawn work during sick leave

    NEW ALBANY — New Albany Police Department Officer Jack Messer, who allegedly made racist remarks during police roll call in January, has again missed his scheduled diversity sensitivity training.

    Messer, 55, who also serves on the City Council, was supposed to take the class on Thursday but was not at work. Chief Greg Crabtree said Messer provided him with a note from his doctor on Wednesday excusing his absence.

    Messer told The Tribune he has diabetes and his blood sugar level is high. He is scheduled to see a doctor on Friday.

    Now the NAPD is conducting an internal investigation into whether Messer violated Standard Operating Procedures by working for a lawn care service while he was on sick leave, Crabtree confirmed.

    Messer, a 27-year police veteran, was on sick leave from April 20 through June 4 for a pre-ruptured disk, but he was reportedly videotaped two days during that time period working for a lawn care service.

    Messer said he was taking a 17-year-old kid to cut grass so that he could pay his court costs. He said he had not been scheduled to work either day, and he is asking why two NAPD captains were using their work time following him and filming him.

    “There are two captains down there that want to go down and film me. I guess I’m a bigger crime problem than the drugs [and criminals] that are running around on the streets,” Messer said. “These people have got more concerns than me.”

    Messer is firing back, accusing the NAPD administration of having a “vendetta” against him.

    “There’s just people down there who’s afraid of me because of me possibly taking away their cushy jobs,” Messer said. “They’re scared to death of something.”

    Messer said he is “absolutely” still considering running for mayor in 2011, and he believes the accusations against him are political.

    The ordeal began in January when Messer was accused of making controversial statements in front of a room full of police officers, including saying “the worst thing we ever did was to give [black] people their civil rights.”

    Messer has said his statements were taken out of context and that he did nothing wrong.

    According to a report from supervising officer Capt. Merle Harle, Messer was attempting to blame the government for “the downfall of young black males” and was using “poor judgment” rather than showing prejudice.

    Following the statements, Crabtree mandated that everyone on the NAPD police force complete sensitivity training. Crabtree said on Thursday that only Messer and one other person has not gone through the training.

    Messer said he was unable to take the training when it was first scheduled because it occurred while he was on sick leave, and he had a medical appointment that day. He said he is now under a doctor’s care for his diabetes.

    “I guess someone down there just don’t like me. Anyone else with a medical issue can just slide by,” he said.

    Nicole Yates, president of the NAACP New Albany chapter, said Messer’s failure to complete the training is further proof he meant what he said during roll call and does not take the training seriously.

    The Police Merit Commission will hold a public administrative hearing at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 to decide if any action should be taken against Messer for his alleged statements. Crabtree said, depending on the outcome of its investigation, the commission may also be asked to decide if any violations were committed by Messer’s alleged work for the lawn care service.


    New Albany City Councilman and Police Patrolman Jack Messer
    Add a comment on this story
    October 30, 2010

    Messer appeals 40-day suspension
    Councilman says his intentions to run for mayor may have impacted ruling
    By DANIEL SUDDEATH The Jeffersonville News and Tribune Sat Oct 30, 2010, 12:15 AM EDT

    NEW ALBANY — Through his attorney, New Albany City Councilman and police officer Jack Messer filed an appeal Friday asking for a judge to overturn the 40-day suspension levied against him this week by the Police Merit Commission.

    The appeal was filed in the Floyd Superior Court No. 2 with Judge Glenn Hancock.

    Messer was suspended Thursday for conduct unbecoming an officer over alleged racist comments and abuse of the New Albany Police Department’s sick leave policy.

    Flanked at a press conference by his attorney, Bart Betteau, Messer said the commission failed to judge him on his virtue and track record as a police officer.

    Betteau and Messer alleged political pressure impacted the commission’s decision. Messer said his intentions to run for mayor next year played a part in the NAPD and merit commission investigations.

    “If I become mayor, there could be some changes in the police department, and some changes in the way the city is ran,” he said.

    Messer stated during a Jan. 22 roll call meeting that “the worst thing we ever did was to give those people their civil rights,” in reference to black people. While an investigation was ongoing over the matter, he was videotaped on two different occasions working for his wife’s lawn care service while on sick leave from the NAPD.

    Since those incidents occurred, Mayor Doug England replaced former NAPD Chief Greg Crabtree with Todd Bailey. England said the move had nothing to do with the Messer case.

    Bailey said in an e-mail Friday that he felt the NAPD’s image had been tarnished by the Messer situation.

    “it is important to the NAPD for citizens to have confidence in their police and we will work diligently to repair the image damage caused by this incident,” He said in the e-mail.

    Bailey added that he’s “personally disappointed and feel that his [Messer’s] actions were disrespectful and disgraceful.”

    England made the call — without objection from the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge — to send the Messer case to the merit commission for consideration in April.

    After having an administrative hearing, the merit commission ruled in September that Messer was guilty of both complaints. The board had a second hearing Monday, and then issued the 40-day suspension without pay for Messer.

    Betteau said political pressure shouldn’t impact a court ruling, and he added he’s confident the commission’s judgment will be overturned.

    “It’s our position that there were a lot of forces that affected the decision of the merit commission other than whether or not Jack had really done anything wrong, or whether or not Jack should have been sanctioned,” Betteau said.

    Messer could likely serve his entire suspension before a ruling is issued by the court, Betteau said. Hancock could provide a judgment summary based on the established facts of the case or call for additional testimony, Betteau added.

    While recovering the $8,300 Messer stands to lose during the suspension is important, Betteau said clearing Messer’s name is the most important goal.

    Messer again faulted his choice of words at the roll call meeting, but said racism was not his intent.

    Messer said his point was that he was angry about how the government has treated the black community. He cited New Albany’s sizable public housing stock as an example of how the government conditions certain segments of the population to be dependent on social welfare programs.

    Civil rights were supposed to end segregation and create a level playing field for all races, Messer said.

    “In the years that I’ve seen after [civil rights were given], you have to ask yourself. Is the community — the black community — better off,” he said.

    Messer said he has apologized for the words he used, but added he will not apologize for being racist because it’s not true.

    Betteau said they are challenging the sick leave penalty because the NAPD doesn’t have control over an officer when they are not scheduled for work, even if they are on a paid day off.

    As for how the case has impacted his reputation in the community, Messer said the relationships he’s built with residents as a beat cop proves more than the allegations against him.

    “You don’t spend 26 years in the west end

  8. “The NAACP had demanded punishment in the case”

    One wonders if that would have been the case if a third party hadn’t gotten involved.

    The original story or the link from that story doesn’t say how the original complaint came about or got to the news or NAACP.

  9. This story was reported by WLKY of louisville, KY but it was about an officer with the New Albany, IN police department. New Albany, IN is right across the Ohio River from Louisville, KY. Point of clarification. Frank

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