Racist cop reinstated by SPD brings conflict between SPD Chief, Union and Grandview Police Department

(Left to Right) Springfield Police Chief, Ken Winslow, Grandview Police Chief, Kirk Beatty,
Former Springfield Police Officer and Current Grandview Officer, James Foxx and Springfield Police Detective and Union President, Don Edwards

Springfield, Illinois – Springfield Leaks has obtained a memo, from a source, which was written by the Springfield Police Union. In that memo it details a call that was made from Springfield Police Chief, Ken Winslow to Grandview Police Chief, Kirk Beatty.

The memo, which was written by Don Edwards, a Springfield Police Detective and Union President, said Chief Winslow called Grandview Chief Beatty in reference to Grandview Officer James Foxx. “I write this letter today after hearing from Officer Foxx in regards to his current employment at Grandview Police Department. He reported to me last night that you called his current chief of police, Kirk Beatty, and you advised him due to current litigation with Officer Foxx, he was not allowed to back up our officers. This morning, I contacted Chief Beatty who confirmed this was the conversation you had with him.”

Foxx was fired from the Springfield Police Department as a patrol officer after sending a racist text message to a black officer. The text message said, “You’re making me feel like 800’s house nigga.” When the black officer told Foxx he didn’t even know what that means, Foxx sent a screenshot from urbandictionary.com with the definition of what a “house nigga” means.

Screenshot of James Foxx text message that he sent to a black Springfield Police Officer

Edwards goes on in his letter to say that he is aware that an un-named officer approached Chief Winslow and said that they didn’t want to work with Foxx. “I am unaware of any officer in the history of my nearly 27 year career that has been allowed to choose whom he or she works with from other agencies or even within our own. I guarantee you that many of our officers would prefer not to work with some people on their shifts, but they do so because they don’t get to choose their co-workers. In fact, I would like to remind you that 97% of our officers, detectives, and sergeants voted in 2018 that they didn’t want to work with you or for you, but yet here you are still making decisions for them all. These are the types of decisions that cause officers of your Department and our Membership to lose faith in your leadership ability.”

The Chief, who has repeatedly defended his decision to terminate Officer Foxx’s employment with the Springfield Police Department, told an arbitrator last month that he stands by his decision and if Officer Foxx had committed this racial act at another police department, he never would have hired Officer Foxx.

Although the Chief and the Springfield Department Brass stands by their decision of firing Foxx, Edwards has made it clear that he believes Chief’s Winslow’s phone call is creating a hostile work environment for Foxx and the Springfield Police Union. “Lastly, the Benevolent is disappointed in your decision to make this phone call. Nothing was said to Chief Beatty as to whether or not our units will back up Officer Foxx. How is Grandview PD and Officer Foxx going to keep himself safe in this city when you’ve made it clear he shouldn’t be around our officers? While diminishing our manpower further, you’ve also diminished the manpower of Grandview PD by making Officer Foxx in effect unable to get back up as needed for traffic stops and calls for service in the Grandview area. When Officer Foxx is brought back to the SPD, how will you manage him? It appears you have made your line in the sand, and you in effect are telling him and the Benevolent that you will not have him back regardless of what an arbitrator says. You have seemingly ostracized Officer Foxx and have arguable interfered with his economic opportunities, thus potentially exposing the City to further litigation. What about when the courts affirm the decision? This appears to be setting the stage for a hostile work environment for Officer Foxx. A 14 month suspension is nothing to be taken lightly….if you don’t like Officer Foxx, that unfortunate, but the reality is that he has been aware his job back, and the City has an obligation to get him back to whether you personally like him or not. If the City is filing an appeal, that is fine as it is part of the process. But your decision based on the request of one officer is both hasty and dangerous. In fact, it could damage Officer Foxx’s career moving forward whether it be with Grandview PD or any other agency to include ours in the future. You don’t have to respect the officer, but you have to respect the process! It is the intent of the Executive Board of PB&PA 5 to work with the City of Springfield, and the leaders therein to ensure both a good working environment for our Members as well as fair treatment of each officer the best of our ability. However, we will not sit idly by as you bully Officer Foxx.”

Springfield Leaks did attempt to get a comment from Grandview Police Chief Beatty. When a reporter spoke with Chief Beatty, he said that he won’t be talking to Springfield Leaks because we publish inaccurate information about his police department and aren’t “officer friendly.” When asked what information has been inaccurate, he didn’t have a response.

We also reached out to the City of Springfield, but they did not have a response at this time, but they do tell us that they plan to appeal the arbitrator’s decision to reinstate Foxx with the courts.

Springfield Leaks will be releasing several documents over the coming days in a Springfield Leaks exclusive regarding the reinstatement of Officer James Foxx.


Stay tuned.

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