A Lexington police officer has been fired after sharing inside information about his colleagues and their plans to control riots to the local anti-police group that was planning the riot.
The firing reportedly came after the Lexington Police Department conducted an investigation into Officer Jervis Middleton, ultimately finding him guilty on two counts of “violating police policies” after he shared “sensitive information” to outside sources.
As LEX18 (an MSNBC affiliate) reports, investigators were able to obtain social media messages between Middleton and Sarah Williams, a “known protestor who organized the Police Accountability Protest in Lexington Kentucky, beginning sometime in May 2020,” where he included the plans and police tactics that his force was intending to use.
The May protests were planned after the deaths of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police department and when Breonna Taylor was killed in her home by Louisville police officers.
“Officer Middleton also provided official Lexington Police Department law enforcement sensitive information via screenshots of text messages and emails that gave away information on tactics the agency was, or were, planning to use, when controlling the nightly protest,” an investigator wrote in the findings of the investigation.
In his interview with the department, Middleton said he and Williams were longtime friends and had mentored her son. He described the conversations to investigators as “venting,” and stated there was an understanding with Williams that “she was not to use any information he provided.”
Early Friday morning, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, serving as jurors found Officer Jervis Middleton guilty of two counts of violating police policies. He was found not guilty on one count of violating police policies.
The hearing lasted from 1:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Thursday, February 18, 2021, when the council went into closed deliberation for about two hours. LEX 18 has learned it was an emotional deliberation. When the council came back to open session around 12:40 a.m. Friday, February 19, 2021, a motion was made to find Officer Middleton guilty on two counts and not guilty on one count.
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The council was deliberating to determine whether Officer Middleton was to be fired for allegedly violating several department policies by providing information to a leader of Summer 2020 protests in Lexington.