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Sheriff’s office denies discrimination claims in lawsuit

Posted at 9:56 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 12:56:02-04

WASHINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office is asking a federal court to throw out a lawsuit claiming in part that a supervisor used a slur against a biracial deputy and pointed a gun at his head.

Beaufort Sheriff Ernie Coleman and four others were sued by Dominic Franks, who claimed in his lawsuit that supervisor William Ragland pointed his loaded service weapon at his head, called him a slur and “monkey boy,” and made fun of his hair. Franks said the behavior continued despite his complaints up the chain of command, and he was unfairly disciplined, leading to his resignation.

An attorney for the sheriff’s office, Christopher Geis, said Franks was fired for “bizarre and unstable behavior, and fabricated allegations” and engaged in “possibly criminal behavior in retaliation against former colleagues.”