A Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police officer fired for allegedly sending racist text messages and a video will not be getting his job back, an arbitrator has ruled.
James Wells was fired last March along with officers Christopher Sousa and Jason Holding following an extensive internal affairs investigation into the distribution of the racist materials. A fourth officer, Alex Alvarez, resigned during the course of the investigation and would have been fired, Police Chief Frank Adderly said at the time.
Wells claimed he never should have been fired and took his case to an arbitrator, who sided with the city in his firing.
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According to a police report on the firings, the officers criticized co-workers' appearance and work ethic, and they "exchanged text messages that included derogatory comments toward Hispanics and homosexuals." The inappropriate material included images of President Barack Obama and fellow Fort Lauderdale police officers, the report said.
Alvarez's ex-fiancée reportedly released the text messages after a nasty breakup. Wells said he expected the messages to be private.
More than 40 cases linked to the four officers have been dropped, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.