SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw has been served a lawsuit filed by Detective Rod Demery, the department confirmed Wednesday morning.
Demery filed the whistleblower lawsuit against the city and Shaw on Monday. The suit alleges that the veteran detective was pulled from a high-profile investigation shortly after a witness came forward with new information that Demery claims involves knowledge police administrators had of alleged misconduct at Fire Station 8 before the first arrests were made that they never shared.
Demery's attorney Pam Breedlove says the witness had given that information to him, as the lead investigator for SPD, as well as to the FBI, Louisiana State Police and the Caddo Parish District Attorney's office just before his supervisors moved to take him off the case and transfer him out of the homicide investigations unit where he had worked for 9 years.
"If Chief Shaw had nothing to hide, he shouldn't have removed the only officer getting to the bottom of stuff in his department," Breedlove says, adding that the day the witness offered a statement, Demery's supervisor indicated he was recommending the detective be transferred out of the homicide investigations unit.
Demery's lawsuit claims that he was harassed, subjected to frivolous internal affairs complaints and improperly reassigned after bringing up the possibility of potential criminal conduct on the part of members of the Shreveport Fire Department in connection with the investigation.
Shaw told KSLA News 12's Fred Childers on Tuesday morning that he was unaware of the lawsuit, but "once I'm served, then we'll address it." However, his office has since declined to comment. According to an email to KSLA News 12 Wednesday morning, "As with any pending civil litigation, it would be inappropriate for us to speak to or engage in a dialogue regarding matters that will ultimately be adjudicated in a court of law."