WACO, Texas — The City of Waco and former Police Chief Ryan Holt were named in a lawsuit filed Wednesday by a former officer who said he resigned because he felt threatened and unsafe.
Stanley Mason joined the department in 1994. He had an exemplary record and helped start the community policing initiatives, according to the lawsuit.
Mason began posting videos to his Facebook on July 7, 2016 about the positives and negatives of policing. The lawsuit says the videos never focused on the Waco Police Department.
Mason said he received a formal complaint July 29, 2016 about his videos accusing him of disparaging the department. The complaint was later found to be unfounded, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges Mason began to feel like an outcast within the department and he suspected there had been efforts to "hack" his Facebook page. He resigned Feb. 28, 2019 "as a result of feeling threatened by his treatment in the department and his grave concerns regarding his personal safety," the lawsuit alleges.
Mason started a radio blog in 2017 called "Behind the Blue Curtain." The lawsuit describes it as "a safe place to vent and seek sound counsel regarding issues that have a piercing effect on the lives of forgotten people, particularly poor and minority communities."
6 News reported on a Facebook Live Mason posted on Sept. 6, 2018 in which he bought a pair of Nike shoes at the Richland Mall in a show of support of Nike making Collin Kaepernick the face of the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" campaign.
Kaepernick grabbed national headlines when he kneeled during the National Anthem during the 2016 preseason in protest of police brutality and social injustice.
Roughly ten days after posting the video, the suit alleges Mason was threatened by a person he had arrested but he was never made aware of the threat and it was not reported through the chain of command. It also describes an incident on Oct. 28, 2018 in which Mason claimed he did not receive prompt backup on a domestic violence call.
The lawsuit says Mason's 1st, 5th and 14th rights were violated. He is suing for compensatory and punitive damages but the lawsuit does not include an amount of money.