Willie Bies Jr., 1939-2016

bies.jpg

Title

Willie Bies Jr., 1939-2016

Subject

Police
Bies, Willie Jr., 1939-2016
African-American--History--Tuscaloosa

Description

Willie Bies Jr. was one of the first black police officers in Tuscaloosa. In 1966, he was hired by Police Chief William Marabel.

The Civil Service Board at that time used an employee test that discriminated against blacks, so Marabel hired Bies outside that system. He had the same duties and responsibilities as regular police officers, but did not have the benefits.

After his 1991 retirement, Bies entered into a legal battle that ended in 2011 when the city council approved a $469,125 settlement to be spread out over three years.

In 1976, Bies and two other black police officers had taken the city to federal court alleging they should have been made regular officers with all the benefits. They won the case, but Bies, who was 27 when he was hired, was older than 35 when the court order was issued. The city's pension board refused to enroll Bies.

Bies went to federal court several times and in August 2009, the city offered Bies a lump sum of $61,799 and a monthly payment of between $147 and $186 they said he was entitled to as a city employee. Bies refused the offer.

The $469,125 settlement represented the current value of what the city would have contributed to Bies' pension if he had been legally enrolled in the pension plan.

Bies died on Feb. 3, 2016, at 79 years of age.

Source

Tuscaloosa News Archive

Contributor

Betty Slowe (Description)
Tuscaloosa Public Library

Type

Photograph

Identifier

882

Coverage

Tuscaloosa (AL)

Original Format

Photograph

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