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The former police chief of Georgia’s second-largest city has become a teacher.
Freddie Blackmon, who was police chief in Columbus until the city’s council paid him $400,000 to retire in April, is teaching social studies at Fort Middle School in the Muscogee County school district, which includes Columbus, The Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Blackmon and the principal at the 500-student middle school declined requests for interviews from the newspaper.
GEORGIA CITY SETTLES LAWSUIT CLAIMING BLACK EX-POLICE CHIEF DISCRIMINATED AGAINST WHITE OFFICERS
Freddie Blackmon, the former second Black police chief of Columbus, Georgia, is now teaching social studies at Fort Middle School.
It’s unclear how Blackmon qualified to be a teacher, but Georgia lets people who have earned college degrees in other fields teach while taking education classes to earn a permanent teaching license.
The city pushed Blackmon into retirement after 37 years on the force, amid discontent over a wave of shootings in the city, including one in which nine juveniles were wounded at a gas station on Feb. 16. Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson moved to oust Blackmon the day after he presented a strategic plan
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Blackmon had been chief since November 2020, becoming the city’s second black chief. The department polices all of Muscogee County under Columbus’ consolidated city-county government structure. Before agreeing to $400,000, Blackmon had demanded $850,000 and threatened to sue Columbus for racial discrimination.
The city later paid $600,000 to settle claims that Blackmon racially discriminated against two white officers by not promoting them.
One of the officers getting money was Lt. Ralph Dowe, president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. He had a role in Blackmon’s ouster, testifying before the Columbus City Council in 2022 that a union survey showed officers lacked confidence in Blackmon.