Mississippi cop who used badge to coerce sex now under scrutiny

Published 8:07 am Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Mississippi state board is reviewing a police officer’s professional certification after WMC-TV raised questions about his firing in Arkansas for behavior described as “grossly unprofessional.”

Roderick Brown Jr. was fired in 2017 in Forrest City, Arkansas, because an investigation showed he tried to extort sex from women while on duty, the television station reported. He’s now a police sergeant in the north Mississippi town of Holly Springs.

A May 2017 termination letter from Forrest City says body camera recordings supported a woman’s claim that Brown sought sex in exchange for leniency when he arrested her. The letter says two other women earlier accused Brown of inappropriate comments and sexual advances while on duty in exchange for help.

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Brown was found to have violated department policies including intimidation, harassment and compromising criminal cases.

He surrendered his law enforcement certification in Arkansas in October after Forrest City asked for a decertification hearing.

Holly Springs officials and Brown referred requests for comment to the city’s attorney, who hasn’t responded.

Mississippi’s Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training says it’s reviewing Brown’s certification.

Brown previously worked as a police officer in the Arkansas towns of Marianna and Gallaway. He resigned as interim chief in Gallaway after an “employee warning” about overtime management.

It’s unclear when Brown went to work in Holly Springs, but a Facebook post shows he was promoted to sergeant in April 2018.

Forrest City’s police chief said Holly Springs never called to check Brown’s background.