Group to hold protest in WCH, demanding resignation of local officer



A group of citizens said they are holding a protest in downtown Washington Court House on Tuesday and they demand the resignation of a local police officer.

The protest comes amid Black Lives Matter protests across the globe in wake of the death of a black Minneapolis man named George Floyd. Floyd died after he was held in a knee restraint by a three police officers. Four officers involved have been fired and one has been charged in the death.

The protest Tuesday in Washington Court House gets underway at 6 p.m. on the lawn of the county courthouse. In addition to arguing that Black Lives Matter, organizers say they are demanding the resignation of local Washington Court House Police Officer Derek Pfeifer.

Pfeifer, a sergeant with the small department, has been embattled with controversy since being hired in 2007 as a patrolman.

In 2013, documents came to light that showed Pfeifer was once employed at a state prison as a correctional officer. A copy of a termination letter from his personnel file shows he was fired for using a racial slur, the “N word.” In the firing, Pfeifer reportedly lied and said he did not say it. He said that because he used an “A” at the end of the word instead of “E-R” that it was okay; he was still fired.

In 2007, when he applied to be a police officer with the city — and was ultimately hired — Pfeifer put that he “resigned” from the state job, despite the termination letter stating he was terminated.

In 2013, Pfeifer posted numerous insensitive messages on Facebook, in which he said that he felt like he would “almost smash someone’s unattended little hood rat kid” who was playing in the middle of the street. In addition, he attacked Hispanics and homosexuals in postings. He was suspended for 30 days for the postings and was given a “last chance” agreement for one year.

In 2019, he was caught on dashcam video fighting with two other Washington Court House Police Officers while off-duty. He was suspended for three days.

In 2019, he was promoted to Sergeant in the department.

Organizers for Tuesday’s event said all are welcomed and to bring signs. The group will march to the city police department from the courthouse. They encouraged attendees to remember to bring their face masks.

The Scioto Valley Guardian is the #1 local news source for the Scioto Valley. The Guardian was previously two publications, Fayette Advocate (2012) and Chillicothe Guardian (2018), respectively. Their parent company merged the two publications in 2019 -- forming The Guardian -- and expanded the coverage area to include the entire Scioto Valley.