Black police officers sue Little Rock citing discrimination

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Four black police officers are suing the city of Little Rock claiming age and racial discrimination, underscoring a growing divide between the city's police chief and an organization for black officers.

The federal lawsuit filed Monday argues that Lt. Earnest Whitten, Sgt. Derrick Threadgill, Sgt. Willie Davis and fired officer Jackie Parker faced "disparate" treatment because of their race and ages, and that management retaliated when they complained.

The lawsuit also alleges Police Chief Kenton Buckner subjected the officers to a hostile work environment because of their involvement in the Little Rock Black Police Officers Association. The organization has criticized the chief's leadership, accusing him of disciplining white officers less harshly than black officers.

City Attorney Tom Carpenter declined to comment, citing pending litigation.