I am a former colleague and a friend of Mr. Abdul Pridgen and Mr. Vance Keyes. They were the only officers who advised the chief to fire the officer. The officer lied, used excessive force, and had a history of using excessive force against African-American citizens. The chief, however, opted to suspend the officer for 10 days, and offered to reduce the suspension and consider him for promotion, if he did not appeal his suspension.
Later, the officer’s body-cam video and personnel records were leaked. The video highlighted the officer's violations of multiple departmental policies, which were each worthy of termination. However, instead of focusing on the misconduct, the City used the leak as a distraction to scapegoat the only officers who disagreed with the punishment. An Assistant City Manager and the police union targeted Pridgen and Keyes as suspects before any investigation had begun. Ultimately, the chief removed Pridgen and Keyes from their appointed positions, without any evidence of them releasing anything. He further punished Keyes and Pridgen in the form of a 3-day suspension and a demotion to sergeant, respectively.
Pridgen and Keyes were figuratively lynched for speaking against unlawful police practices. They were deliberately defamed and their careers were irreparably harmed. We must stand with officers who defend citizens’ rights. This fiasco is bigger than Pridgen, Keyes, Ms. Craig, or the African-American community. Regardless of your color or creed, please stand with these officers, because a corrupt police culture will not limit its harm to minorities alone.
Please donate whatever amount you can. No amount is too small.
These funds will be used to fight for justice-- to pay for lawyer fees so that these men can take legal action; Attorney fees related to Vance Keyes's administrative appeal of his 3-day suspension; Attorney fees related to Abdul Pridgen's administrative appeal of his demotion to sergeant; Attorney fees related to a civil suit against persons/entities responsible for the unjust action taken against them.
Any remaining monies will be used toward Initiative for Transparent and Accountable Policing (ITAP), their vision to serving the agencies for greater transparency and accountability, serve as a support organization for officers who speak out against police misconduct and need advice/counsel when they are abandoned and retaliated against, and document and share Fort Worth's response to the entire Jacqueline Craig incident so other departments can glean valuable information on how to better respond to racial injustice.
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Pridgen & Keyes Community Support Team
- Darrell Robinson
- Tony McCain
- Wanda Chav i s
- Wanda Chavis
Organizer and beneficiary
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