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Cave Springs Alderman Accused Of Making Racial Slur About Former Police Officer

CAVE SPRINGS (KFSM) -- A Cave Springs alderman reportedly made a racist comment about a former Cave Springs police officer after a city council meeting back in June.

The Cave Springs Police Chief heard the comment causing him to file a complaint to the mayor on September 15.

Cave Springs Police Chief Rick Crisman sat down with 5News for an exclusive interview after making a complaint to Mayor Travis Lee.

Crisman said after the June city council meeting he was visiting with a group in the American Legion parking lot. In the crowd was another officer and two aldermen.

“The conversation was brought up that the Bethel Heights Police Department, that most of the people who are currently employed there as police officers have worked here at Cave Springs and one time or another,” Crisman said.

That's when a former Cave Springs police officer, Stan Young's name was brought up and Alderman Rick Sayre used a racial slur to describe the black officer.

“I was absolutely shocked by it...for anyone to say that let alone a city official to say that...I really didn`t say much after that,” he said.

Crisman said after the first comment Sayre went on to say he and Stan were friends and calls him by a racial nickname all the time. He said that's when he and officer Lawson walked away.

“I asked officer Lawson if he heard what was said. I don`t know how I misheard him, but to see if he had heard what I heard and absolutely he had heard exactly what I had heard,” he said.

Alderman Sayre declined our request for an interview, but told 5News this was the first he had heard about the complaint and said it's not true.

Crisman said he hesitated a few weeks to file the complaint, because he wanted to make sure he was doing the right thing.

“I know a lot of people probably say that and it just shows their ignorance to say things like that, but to have a city official say something like that and to feel that it was safe to say it really really bothered me,” he said.

City officials said there is no process for removing an alderman for their position because they serve two year terms.

The officer the reported comment was about, Stan Young, was fired from the Cave Springs Police Department in 2013.

He later sued the department on allegations of racism and won a settlement that concerned overtime pay.

5News reached out to Young about the complaint and he said, “I have no comment because I was not there. I do not believe that Rick Sayre said it,” Young said

Mayor Travis Lee responded with a statement: “These views do not represent Cave Springs and I stand with Chief Crisman against racism in city government."

5News also reached out to the Bethel Heights Mayor where both Young and Sayre are employed. She was not aware of the complaint and said since it did not happen at work she could not comment on the incident.