Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed By Fort Smith Police Officer Claiming Racial Discrimination

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — A lawsuit filed by a Fort Smith police officer was dismissed by a federal judge on Thursday (June 8).

The lawsuit filed by Officer Wendall Sampson in November of 2015 claimed racial discrimination.

Sampson said he was unfairly disciplined and investigated after he approached then Police Chief Kevin Lindsay about wrongdoings that he believed were going on at the department.

The lawsuit lists 16 people, including city leaders and other police officers who worked at the department at the time. The lawsuit was set to go before Judge Holmes in the 12th Judicial District Court.

Sampson said his lawyer plans to appeal the decision.

“I was informed earlier today by my attorney Matthew Campbell that I filed back on November 30, 2015 against the city of Fort Smith and several others had been dismissed,” Sampson said. “I have not had the opportunity to read the judgement at this point, but Mr. Campbell and I have agreed that an appeal is in order. I was looking forward to finally presenting these matters to a jury on the 19th of this month after so many years of enduring unwarranted and illegal actions. I trust our judicial system and will forge forward until an independent third party can review the evidence and decide on the matter.”

Sampson said that he was investigated more than 15 times from 2013 to 2016. He said there was an undercover investigation into his personal life among other investigations.