Update (10:55 PM): Where is Clarence when we need him? The Clarion-Ledger reported tonight that City Attorney Monica Joiner recused herself from this case because she is engaged to Aaron Allen.
A white former JPD officer sued the city of Jackson and Chief Lee Vance for racial discrimination in U.S. District Court on June 24. The complaint states:
Tina Bianchini files this lawsuit to redress the deprivation of her constitutional right to Equal Protection arising out of her forced resignation after she was threatened with termination if she did not resign. On March 26, 2015, Tina Bianchini, a female police officer with the City of Jackson, was arrested and charged with domestic violence. The African-American male police officer that was involved in the domestic violence encounter was not arrested or charged with domestic violence on March 26, 2015. In addition, Police Chief Lee Vance, who is African-American, has not fired other African American police officers that have been charged with domestic violence before and after March 26, 2015. Tina Bianchini was fired because of her race. She is white.
6. On March 26, 2015, Tina Bianchini, a white female, who was employed by the Jackson Police Department, as a police officer, was arrested and charged with domestic violence. The City of Jackson Police Department did not arrest Aaron Allen, the African-American male JPD officer involved in the alleged domestic violence incident.
7. JPD officers came to Aaron Allen's home on the morning of March 26, 2015 after Aaron Allen called Lt. Randy Avery, who is African-American, on his personal cellular phone and stated that he had a situation at his residence. Lt. Randy Avery came to Aaron Allen's home alone and Sgt. Kenyatta Gowdy came a short time later. When officers arrived, they listened only to Aaron Allen's allegations against Tina Bianchini and refused to listen to Tina Bianchini's allegations against Aaron Allen.
8. Based on Aaron Allen's statements, officers arrested Tina Bianchini and transported her to St. Dominic Hospital where she was treated for injuries she suffered during the incident with Aaron Allen. After Tina Bianchini was released from St. Dominic, she was transported to the Jackson Police Department, where she was charged with domestic violence and given a $700.00 bond. Upon information and belief, after Tina Bianchini's bond was posted, she was held in the Jackson City Jail where she remained in a cell until she was escorted to Police Chief Lee Vance's office.The case is assigned to Judge Daniel Jordan, III. Attorney Dana Sims represents the city of Jackson.
Police Chief Lee Vance gave Tina Bianchini a pre-prepared resignation letter and told her she could sign it or be terminated. Faced with termination, Tina Bianchini signed the letter of resignation.
9. After Tina Bianchini was released from jail, she repeatedly went to JPD and attempted to file charges against Aaron Allen but JPD officers refused to allow her to swear out an affidavit against Aaron Allen.
10. Aaron Allen, however, was subsequently indicted by a Hinds County Grand Jury and charged with aggravated domestic violence. When Aaron Allen was indicted, Police Chief Lee Vance did not terminate him.
11. On January 25, 2016, the domestic violence charge pending against Tina Bianchini was remanded to the file.
12. As a result of her wrongful termination from JPD, Tina Bianchini also was terminated from her job as a security officer at an apartment complex in Jackson, Mississippi and relieved of her security guard duties at a local restaurant.
13. After Tina Bianchini was terminated because she was involved in a domestic violence incident, Police Chief Lee Vance and the City of Jackson continued to employ African-American police officers, including but not limited to Aaron Allen, who were charged with domestic violence. Tina Bianchini has a constitutional right to be treated by the defendants like similarly situated African-American police officers charged with domestic violence.