On July 20, 2018 a federal court jury in Aberdeen rendered a $20,000 plaintiff verdict in Garrett v. City of Tupelo.

Brandon Garrett was a detective with the Tupelo Police Department. The department wrote him up for mishandling evidence 7 days after his attorney (Jim Waide) wrote a letter requesting that the department relocate the detective division from a mold contaminated building. The Department then demoted Garrett to patrol officer. Garrett quit and sued for retaliation.

The City won on the demotion issue, convincing the jury that it wasn’t a demotion because Garrett was a “top officer” who was needed on the streets. The City lost on the write-up. In addition to the $20,000 verdict, Garrett can file a motion for attorney fees.

Jim Waide of Tupelo represented Garrett. David O’Donnell and Ray Hill with Clayton O’Donnell in Oxford represented the City.

District Judge Debra Brown presided.

My Take:

Smells like a compromise verdict. Impressive job by the defense lawyers convincing the jury the demotion to patrol was not a demotion.

My expertise is based on extensive reading of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels, so you know it’s solid. Can’t wait for Connelly’s Bosch / Renee Ballard book this fall. Now if we could just get Mickey Haller involved.