State’s First Black Sheriff Fires White Officer For Racism

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The first Black sheriff in the history of Wyoming is fed up.

Aaron Appelhans became the sheriff in February 2021. He has terminated a White deputy after several claims that he harassed a former Black subordinate for a long time. The put-downs and name-calling led the subordinate to quit his job, reports say.

Corporal Jamin Johnson left his job in 2017 after dealing with racists comments from Albany County Patrol Sergeant Christian Handley.

There is an alleged occurrence that happened where Handley drove by Johnson’s house while he, his wife, and kids were outside. Handley screamed, using profanity and the N-word.

In another incident, Handley told Johnson that being with a Black woman, romatically, would be “degrading.”

According to a lawsuit, Handley apologized because he wasn’t aware his family was present.

During the investigation, it was found that Handley’s racism was known by many people. It often lead to Handley receiving promotions or favoritism over Johnson who had more experience.

Johnson is requesting damages, in court, for the years that he endured the insults.

The incidents happened before Appelhans took over the department, but he has vowed to make some changes. This includes transferring the investigation to another county and overseeing hiring, promotions, and terminations.



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