FORT WORTH -- Former Assistant Police Chief Abdul Pridgen said in an interview with the Star-Telegram this week that his demotion was “the most egregious miscarriage of justice I’ve ever seen” and that he will continue to speak out on the issue.
Part of that includes a GoFundMe page created this week in which Pridgen and former Deputy Chief Vance Keyes — both of whom were demoted after Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald accused them of leaking another officer’s confidential documents — are seeking money from supporters to “fight for justice” against the police department and the city.
The GoFundMe page’s goal is $76,000. Pridgen made $168,000 a year as an assistant chief, according to a Texas Tribune database of government salaries. Keyes made $133,973 a year as deputy chief. Fitzgerald demoted both men to the rank of captain, where they would make $123,926 annually, according to city figures.
“We are calling on you, the citizens of this great city … to come to our aid,” Keyes says in a video posted on the page.
“Please stand with us for justice,” Pridgen says in the video.
Pridgen, in a phone interview Wednesday, said the GoFundMe money would be used for possible legal action.
A description on the page — which was created Monday by retired police Sgt. Kevin Fitchett, a former president of the Fort Worth Black Law Enforcement Officers Association — said the funds also would be used to launch an “Initiative for Transparent and Accountable Policing.”
Fitchett could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Fitzgerald declined to comment on the page, but he “respects Capt. Pridgen’s right to form his own opinions,” Lt. Paula Fimbres, police spokeswoman, said in a statement Thursday.
The online fundraiser is the latest development since the viral arrest of Fort Worth mother Jacqueline Craig on Dec. 21.
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