MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire police department is fighting to keep a former officer fired in 2018 from being reinstated after he allegedly made racist comments despite an arbiter’s ruling that he should be reinstated.
An arbiter determined in August 2019 that the firing of former Manchester police officer Aaron Brown was too severe and that he should instead receive a 30-day suspension.
Police Chief Carlo Capano refused to implement the reinstatement order, which prompted the police union to file an unfair labor practice with the Public Employee Labor Relations Board. The case is pending.
Separately, the arbiter ruled on Aug. 24 that Brown was entitled to back pay.
After a complaint about Brown’s conduct, police said an internal investigation launched in 2018 found text messages on his department-issued cell phone that included what they called “extremely disturbing” racist remarks. The contents of the remarks have not been released.
There were also texts in which Brown claimed to have intentionally damaged property while executing search warrants, police said.
Brown was fired in April 2018, but he challenged the ruling.
The department says it is bound to accept the arbiter’s ruling that Brown be reinstated with back pay.
“We will do everything possible to make sure Brown is never in a Manchester Police uniform again,” Capano said. “Sometimes fighting for what is right is difficult and an uphill battle, but we take this very seriously and have no intentions of giving up.”
A message seeking comment from Brown’s attorney was left Monday.
The Manchester Police Department has asked New Hampshire’s Police Standards and Training Council to review the case and determine whether Brown should retain his certification as a police officer.
Chief Capano: “ We will do everything possible to make sure Brown is never in a MPD Uniform again.” Manchester Police are disappointed and disheartened about a recent ruling involving a former officer. https://t.co/mjM4hlxL0O pic.twitter.com/Mt8R4Vl5JA
— Manchester NH Police (@mht_nh_police) September 4, 2020
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