Charles Starks

From LEO Ratings

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Service Record

Agency Little Rock Arkansas Police Department
Rank Officer
Dates of Service 2013-2020[1]
Last Known Status Resigned[2]

Incident Reports

Starks has been the subject of ten complaints since joining the force in 2013, two of which resulted in suspensions. In one incident off-duty, Starks had a confrontation with another man outside a movie theater.[1]

A lawsuit notes a past recommendation that Starks be fired because he was difficult to manage and "gravitated toward conflict."[3]

2019 Death of Bradley Blackshire

Department Response

In May 2019, Police Chief Keith Humphrey fired Starks, over objections from other officers in the chain of command. The Civil Service Commission upheld that firing, which Starks appealed to the Circuit Court.[4][2]

Legal Action

In May 2020, Starks sued the city and Mayor, claiming that the investigation was rushed. Starks complained that the city had limited his duties, kept his gun and badge and otherwise treated him unfairly.[5]

Relatives of Blackshire filed a lawsuit against the city, Starks, and Officer Michael Simpson, who drove his police car into Blackshire's car.[3]

On January 2, 2020, Circuit Judge Tim Fox ordered Starks to be reinstated, but with a pay reduction. The city planned to appeal the reinstatement. Starks received a 30-day suspension and reduction in salary, which he appealed.[6][4]

On January 17, 2020, Starks filed contempt of court charges against the mayor and police chief for failing to reissue his gun, badge or identification.[7]

On January 21, 2020, Judge Fox held the Little Rock officials in contempt of court for not following his earlier order to fully reinstate Starks. The city appealed this decision.[8][9]

On June 10, 2019, relatives of Blackshire filed a lawsuit against the city, Starks, and Simpson, including claims of excessive use of force, the city's failure to train officers, violation of the state's Civil Right Act, assault and battery, and wrongful death.[3][10]

On September 8th, 2021, the Arkansas Court of Appeals reversed Circuit Judge Tim Fox’s decision overruling the firing of Starks.[4]

On September 29, 2021, the Arkansas Court of Appeals reversed Judge Fox's decision to hold officials in contempt, finding that there was no violation of the terms of the order to reinstatement Starks.[9]

On October 7th, 2021, it was announced that a settlement had been reached in the lawsuit filed by Blackshire's family against the city.[11]

On October 19, 2021, the settlement was approved by a Circuit Court judge, which was required as three of the beneficiaries are minors. The settlement must still be signed and forwarded to federal court. The settlement totaled $300,000 [12] and requires additional departmental training on use of force and de-escalation tactics.[13]

References