MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More fallout in North Miami from last year’s police shooting of a behavioral therapist. The police chief, who’s being forced out of his job, is now planning to sue the city.
There were some heated moments during a community forum as the city of North Miami addressed the pending termination of North Miami Police Cmdr. Emile Hollant and Chief Gary Eugene.
“Sworn statements given by Chief Gary Eugene directly contradicted sworn statements given to the FDLE earlier in the criminal investigation,” said City Manager Larry Spring.
The chief was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday.
The city plans to terminate his employment July 7th.
Commander Hollant was also told of the city’s intent to fire him.
“The findings cited violations of the following standard operating procedures,” Spring said.
The city says its decision stems from an internal affairs investigation into a high-profile shooting involving unarmed mental health therapist Charles Kinsey last July.
He was shot in the leg by Officer Jonathon Aledda, who was charged with attempted man-slaughter in April.
Aledda remains on paid administration leave.
Most of those in attendance disagreed with the city’s decision to terminate Chief Eugene and Cmdr. Hollant, but some commended the city for the way it’s handled the investigation.
“I didn’t like the incident when it happened, but I certainly appreciate the effort each and every one of you have taken to make sure this is transparent,” said North Miami resident Tyrone Hill.
“Firing the commander and firing the chief is not the solution. You guys are commending these guys for making so much change, but it’s fake change,” said another resident.
In a phone interview, Chief Eugene told us he was shocked to find out of the city’s intent to terminate him when he came back from his five and a half week medical leave.
“They were looking for any reason to stop me from completing an investigation because I was the chief as of last Wednesday,” he said.
The chief says he plans to sue claiming discrimination because the two people losing their jobs following the investigation are Haitian-American.
“Our goal is… to try to see if we can get justice for the chief and get his name cleared,” said attorney Brian Pollock.
But the North Miami city attorney denies any discrimination.
“We’re a very diverse city. For anybody to claim that they’re being discriminated because they’re Haitian-American, me as a Haitian-American, I kind of find that offensive,” said City Attorney Jeff Cazeau.