Lubbock Police Chief Demoted Days After Federal Probe

The police chief in Lubbock, Texas, was demoted to captain just a day after an assistant police chief overseeing a murder investigation was reassigned, according to a newspaper report.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, citing a news release from the city, reported that Police Chief Roger Ellis was demoted Friday by City Manager James Loomis in accordance with civil service laws.

Assistant Chief Jerry Brewer will serve as acting chief until a search for a new chief is finished.

Days before Ellis was demoted, the U.S. Justice Department accused the Lubbock Police Department of discriminating against women and Hispanics in hiring probationary police officers. After examining multiple hiring cycles, the department's civil rights division charged the Police Department with violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act through its written and physical exam standards.

In a letter sent to the city, the Justice Department stated that a lawsuit resulting from the federal investigation is expected to be filed no later than August, but it encouraged the city to participate in settlement negotiations to resolve the matter without litigation.

Lubbock has "engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against Hispanics on the basis of their national origin and against women on the basis of their sex," the letter said.

In another shake-up, James Shavers, a Lubbock assistant chief of police, was moved from investigations to patrol on Thursday.

Shavers had overseen an investigation into the killing of 15-year-old Mark Anthony Ysasaga, whose remains were found earlier this month with help from a tipster. The investigation has come under public scrutiny as questions arise over the possibility that the tipster was involved in the killing.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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