Meridian police lieutenant resigns following DUI arrest

The acting police chief accepted John Griffith's resignation
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 11:21 AM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - John Griffith is no longer with the Meridian Police Department. Griffith submitted his resignation Thursday night after he was arrested on a DUI charge in Orange Beach, Alabama, Wednesday.

Meridian Chief Administrative Officer Eddie Kelly said acting chief Lt. Patrick Gale accepted Griffith’s resignation.

“John Griffith came in Thursday evening to his supervisor, acting Chief Gale. It’s an unfortunate situation that happened in Alabama and we wish Griffith the best,” Mayor Percy Bland says.

Griffith was booked into the Orange Beach jail Wednesday and was released. Orange Beach police said Griffith was in his personal vehicle when he was pulled over and taken into custody. Griffith was on the coast to meet with officials at a company that handles call centers. The meeting was about the new cameras being put up around the city of Meridian.

Griffith, who was a veteran officer with the Meridian Police Department, was demoted from captain to lieutenant in May following an internal investigation and suspension for not reporting a racial slur that was used by one of the officers under his supervision. That officer, Joey Lawn, allegedly called an African American colleague the “N” word while at a K9 training session in Alabama in 2018. Lawn was terminated June 3.

Griffith, who was a captain at the time of the investigation, was demoted to lieutenant and eventually re-instated in early June.

Griffith has been in law enforcement nearly 25 years and was one of the top candidates for the next Meridian police chief.

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