- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A lawyer for the Rhode Island police sergeant fired for making racially insensitive comments says his client’s punishment was too severe.

Michael Colucci says the comments Providence Sgt. David Marchant made regarding a black patrolman were his first infraction in 21 years with the department and his termination was not in line with the concepts of progressive discipline.

Colucci tells The Providence Journal (http://bit.ly/1MbLgpE ) that Marchant should have been given a lighter punishment.

The December incident involved a package at Brown University with a white powder on it. Marchant, who is white, said he had a black officer handle the package and if he got sick it wouldn’t be a problem because “he’s a black guy anyway.”

Marchant said he was joking and apologized.

He has 30 days to appeal his firing. He may lose his pension.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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