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Attorneys and terminated MPD officer battle ahead of appeal hearing

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:15 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Evidence and polygraph tests --the center of a city controversy. A terminated police officer’s attorneys say their client is the victim of a political plot.

On July 27, KNOE’s Jasmine Anderson attended a meeting that holds weight. It determines what evidence the people that could reinstate Reggie Brown will examine.

Piles of files contain information that former Monroe police officer Reggie Brown’s attorneys say prove he was unjustly terminated. Attorneys for Brown wanted his polygraph test results thrown out saying he was agitated at the time and didn’t know he could refuse to take it.

“We put forth some motions to exclude the testimony of their polygraphist Cecil Carter because we know throughout the land that the U.S. Supreme Court has already said that polygraph tests are unreliable,” said Attorney Carol Powell Lexing.

But the civil service board voted to keep the results as evidence. And the city attorneys begged the board not to approve multiple witnesses Brown subpoenaed.

“It’s unfair to you guys to have to sift through 40 different witnesses on a very limited issue. Very limited factual circumstance,” said Monroe City Attorney Joshua Dara

But the board voted to hear from those 40 witnesses --including Monroe’s fire chief and state examiner during Brown’s hearing on August 18th.

“They will bring forth testimony to show how unjustly Reginald Brown was fired and to offer other relevant evidence toward showing how this case basically is based on political expediency and nothing else,” Lexing said.

Board members will either uphold or reverse the terminations of Brown and Sergeant Chuck Johnson.

“We’ll start at 4 o’clock, which may possibly go into midnight. Several days have been set aside for the trial,” said Attorney Pamela Harper.

The men were terminated last year for failing polygraph tests following allegations they covered up a case of police brutality ahead of Monroe’s 2020 mayoral election in which Brown was expected to be named the police chief.

“What we’re trying to figure out is if a gentleman who was at the top of the Monroe Police Department delayed an investigation and lied about it. That’s important; that is critical,” Harper said.

Brown’s attorney maintains this case portrays a double standard.

“They’re allowing the chief now to basically do what he wants. Take the David Harris case. In the David Harris case, they didn’t refer it to LSP but they want to hold Reginald Brown’s feet to the fire and say he didn’t. And because he didn’t do it, he needs to be fired,” Harper said.

A claim the city won’t comment on due to pending litigation.

Former MPD Sergeant Chuck Johnson’s appeal date is scheduled for September 8th.

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