Sgt. Lewis Discusses MPD Chief Issues

By: Candace Barnette Email
By: Candace Barnette Email
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The police officer who filed a harassment complaint Meridian Chief James Lee is speaking out for the first time about the incident. Lee is currently serving a 5-day suspension without pay for his behavior.

Meridian's Equal Opportunity Officer found Lee had created a hostile workplace for Sgt. J.C. Lewis.

Lewis is talking for the first time about exactly what happened that led to the complaint and what has happened since.

The complaint Lewis filed with Meridian's equal opportunity officer began with an incident at a staff meeting. Lewis says he had a simple question about when a policy change would take effect, which Chief Lee responded to with vulgar language and cruelty in front of all the other supervisors.

"He said, 'Right today.' I said, 'I thought it was Wednesday.' He said, 'Sergeant, is the f'ing day Wednesday?' I looked at him again. He said, 'Is the f'ing day Wednesday, Sergeant?' He said it once more. That's when I kind of looked at him and shut my mouth at this time," Sgt. Lewis explains.

Lewis says after he filed that complaint, he was advised that there were two warrants for his arrest based on a complaint from an old case that Chief Lee re-opened. Lewis says he spoke to a judge on the matter who told him he was not guilty of any wrongdoing.

"I was just trying to figure out how this could go on with out a probable cause hearing," he says. "Evidently, I figured our chief just didn't know protocol or just didn't care."

Now the sergeant is out on major medical leave after a hip replacement, and he says he doesn't expect to have his job waiting when he returns.

"I'm scheduled to return on May 12. When I return on that day, I shall expect a warrant to be there for my arrest, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be fired when I get back," he says.

Lewis says he believes that digging up dirt in this manner is a pattern of the chief's. And he expects to be next in line. He just hopes he's not arrested in front of his children.

"I teach him how to respect the law and everything else. And for my 12-year-old seeing his dad.... That's all," Sgt. Lewis says.

Sergeant Lewis has also filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


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