Partial settlement reached between former Pocomoke police officers and the City
POCOMOKE CITY, Md. – After over three years a Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Lawsuit claiming racial discrimination has been partially settled between the city and the former police chief and two other members of the force.
Rev. James Jones of Pocomoke City says, “This is the beginning of the end of an ongoing Battle between politics and racism.”
It’s a settlement that will force change within Pocomoke City that former Pocomoke City Police Chief Kelvin Sewell hopes will end the problem of racial discrimination in the city.
“This is just the beginning of what we’ve been fighting for for the last three or four years,” says Rev. Jones.
Sewell and former Lt. Lynell Green have finally reached an agreement with the city after Sewell and Green and Detective Franklin Savage filed a federal lawsuit against the city.
The lawsuit claiming all three faced racial discrimination in the form of several racial slurs and daily discussions of lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan’s presence in the community by other police officers and city officials.
“Justice has been served but I think we’re almost at the end of this case that’s been going on in Pocomoke City,” says Sewell.
It’s a partial settlement that will require change in the small Eastern Shore city and for them to pay significant damages. It’s an agreement that will be overseen by a federal judge that will require Pocomoke City to reform racial discrimination policies and procedures at the police department as well as training for officers and leadership.
“That is so much needed we have to have that because without that we’re still in the ages of racial inequities. We need to know that people can come together as one,” says Rev. Jones.
And even though the Pocomoke City still hasn’t claimed any guilt on their end, Jones says otherwise.
“Even though no one has come out and said that, it’s not an admission to guilt for the settlement but it’s an admission to wrongdoing.”
It’s a move Sewell hopes will change not just Pocomoke City but the entire Eastern Shore.
“The consent decree alone is putting things in place to make sure things like this will never happen again,” exclaims Sewell.
We reached out to the city for an interview, but they declined saying ‘We have no comment at this time’. As part of the settlement, the city will also have to pay a total of $650,000 in financial relief to Sewell and Green.
It’s also important to note that the reason why this is only a partial settlement is because Detective Franklin Savage still has not entered an agreement.