It’s just like old times – Greensboro is once again being sued by a former Greensboro police officer.
Former Greensboro Police Officer Charlotte Jackson, who was forced to resign following the arrest of Dejuan Yourse on June 17, 2016, has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Greensboro for “violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses contained in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United State Constitution. And also for depravation of her due process rights, and liberty and or property rights under the North Carolina Constitution.
The case was filed with the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on May 23.
Jackson was the first officer on the scene at 2 Mistywood Court on June 17, 2016, answering a call that someone was trying to break into the house with a shovel. According to the body-worn camera video, which was released to the public without her consent, when she arrived, Yourse was on the front porch and said it was his mother’s house and he was waiting for her to come home.
After Jackson spoke with Yourse and was returning to her car to look up the information about the house, Greensboro Police Officer Travis Cole arrived and went up to the porch to talk to Yourse.
Jackson returned to talk to Yourse to ask for his driver’s license. Yourse said he didn’t have one and then found it in his pocket. Jackson took the license back to the car to use her computer and while she was gone Cole and Jackson were wrestling over Yourse’s phone. Jackson assisted Cole in subduing and handcuffing Yourse.
The charges against Yourse were dropped and Yourse reached a settlement with the city for $95,000 – over $30,000 of which went to pay Yourse’s back child support. Yourse has since been convicted of assault on a female and received a sentence of over eight years and seven months in prison. He was also convicted of assaulting his girlfriend and received an additional one year and eight months in prison.
After the video of the arrest of Yourse was released, Cole resigned, and then in September 2016, Jackson also resigned. The lawsuit states that Jackson resigned because she knew she would not get a fair hearing and that the police had violated its own policy by upgrading her hearing from a divisional hearing, where the most severe discipline is a written reprimand, to a bureau level hearing, where the most severe discipline is termination.
The lawsuit also states that Deputy Chief James Henson was going to preside over the disciplinary hearing and that Henson had “made numerous statements to the effect that both Officers’ actions were inappropriate and wrong with their respect to their interaction with Mr. Yourse.”
Jackson, according to the lawsuit, requested a new presiding officer for her hearing, since it was obvious that Henson had already made up his mind on the matter, and was denied.
The lawsuit states that Jackson saw the upgrade to a bureau level hearing and the insistence by the Police Department that Henson be chair of the hearing was “a clear indication that Jackson would be terminated regardless of the facts or evidence in the case due to the media sensationalism that the case had received. In light of that, Jackson had no choice but to resign.”
There is new information about the Yourse arrest in the lawsuit. Yourse was aware that he had two warrants for his arrest and, also, “Yourse was aware that he was not welcome at 2 Mistywood Court, his mother’s residence, because he had attempted to break in on prior occasions and because of his erratic and violent behavior.”
In the video, Yourse can be heard changing his story several times on what he was doing at the house. He said he lived there and said he didn’t live there but visited frequently. He also said his mother was on her way home and he was looking for his dog in the garage with the shovel, but there was no dog.
The lawsuit states, “The mother of Mr. Yourse informed police that she was scared of her son, he did not have a key to her house (as he had claimed), and that his behavior had been getting out of control.”
According to the lawsuit, “upon information and belief, a high-ranking member of the GPD released segments of the body worn camera footage of the second officer on the scene to a City Council member.”
The lawsuit doesn’t name the officer who released the video or the councilmember who received it but does note that releasing the body worn camera video without permission of the officer was in violation of the Personnel Privacy Act.
The lawsuit continues, “Upon information and belief, the release of this information to the Council member was done solely for political purposes and in order for this Commander to bolster his attempts to become the next Police Chief.”
Jackson, who is represented by William Hill of Frazier, Hill & Fury, is asking for monetary damages in excess of $25,000 for loss of income, mental anguish and emotional distress.