A small Mississippi city and its police department are being sued weeks after the police chief was fired after bragging about shooting and killing people in a racist and homophobic rant.

Five Black Mississippians have filed a federal lawsuit requesting a restraining order against the Lexington Police Department to prevent officers from infringing upon citizens’ constitutional rights, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by USA TODAY. 

The lawsuit, filed by civil-rights law firm JULIAN, is intended to stop law enforcement in Lexington from “threatening, coercing, harassing, assaulting or interfering” with the city’s largely Black population, the group said. The suit claims the department has a pattern and practice of using excessive force, making false arrests and retaliating against officers who report misconduct. 

‘SERIOUS BREACH OF TRUST’:Mississippi police chief fired after leaked audio captured racist rant, him bragging about killing 13 people

Last month, police chief Sam Dobbins was fired by the city’s board of alderman after he boasted, in a conversation with a former officer that was secretly recorded, about shooting a Black man more than 100 times. The recording was released last month to the media by JULIAN, which is based in Jackson, Mississippi. 

The suit names Dobbins and interim Chief Charles Henderson. Henderson and Lexington Mayor Robin McCrory did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Dobbins was unable to be immediately reached. 

“We’re bringing this suit because we’ve got to protect the Black citizens of Lexington,” Jill Collen Jefferson, president and founder of JULIAN, told USA TODAY. “Their rights are being routinely violated. They’re being intimidated, they’re being harassed, they’re being targeted, over and over and over again. And it has not stopped with the firing of that police chief.”

JULIAN is also calling for a federal investigation into “systemic, condoned racism in both the police department and in Lexington’s municipal government as a whole,” according to a press release.