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Police Chief Cleared in Suit by Officer, Wife

Long Beach Police Chief Lawrence Binkley and other department administrators did not violate the free-speech rights of a sergeant and his wife, a Los Angeles federal court jury concluded Monday.

Sgt. David Bishop and his wife, Becky, alleged in a lawsuit that Binkley and the department’s senior officers harassed them because of Becky’s involvement in police-related issues, including her support for two police officers who had faced charges--eventually dropped--in a case involving black activist Don Jackson.

Last year, Binkley forced Becky Bishop off the volunteer Neighborhood Watch program until City Manager James Hankla ordered the chief to reinstate her as block captain. Binkley testified that he feared Becky, who was involved in city elections, would use a list of the program’s volunteers for political purposes.


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