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Fired Mocksville police officers’ case goes to federal court

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MOCKSVILLE, N.C. – A federal judge ruled Friday that some evidence about claims of racial discrimination will be allowed in a lawsuit involving three Mocksville police officers who allege they were fired for reporting allegations of corruption in the police department, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Former Maj. Ken Hunter, Lt. Rick Donathan and Detective Jerry Medlin filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in 2012 against the town of Mocksville, former Police Chief Robert Cook and current Town Manager Christine Bralley. They alleged that Cook and Bralley violated their free-speech rights when Cook fired them on Dec. 29, 2011. Cook retired in 2013.

The trial starts Monday in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem and could take two weeks. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder considered several pre-trial motions, including two from attorneys on both sides seeking to limit certain evidence.

Stephen Dunn, one of the attorneys for the defendants, argued that allegations of race discrimination should be limited because they could inflame the jury and create prejudice against the defendants.

Dunn objected to the testimony of three members of the Davie County chapter of the NAACP as well as testimony from another former Mocksville Police officer who alleged racial discrimination. He also objected to mention of Cook allegedly using a racial slur in 2007 while on a fishing trip with Hunter, who is black.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal