And it comes one day after Pine Bluff's mayor appointed an interim chief to the lead the department.
Celebration arrived in Pine Bluff Wednesday with the appointment of Collier Hill as the Interim Police Chief.
But it also triggered a lawsuit over the firing of former Chief John Howell.
"It was certainly a catalyst for our decision to go forward now," Attorney Chip Welch said.
Welch represents Howell. He filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Mayor Carl Redus, Jr. and the city council, which failed to overturn the mayor's decision to let Howell go.
"It was a situation where the mayor, having been granted the authority to hire and fire police and fire chiefs, thought that made him a police man and a fire man," Welch said.
The complaint alleges Redus pushed protocol allowing him "to review files relating to ongoing criminal investigations" and asking the department "to conduct random stops and searches" for illegal guns. They were policies Howell felt disobeyed the law.
"When Chief Howell would try to explain that, it caused great friction," Welch said.
Friction the lawsuit says drove Howell's firing, calling it "retaliation for his refusal to violate the laws and the constitution of the State of Arkansas and the United States."
At City Hall on Thursday, Redus declined an on camera interview. He says he just received the lawsuit Thursday evening and needed to speak with city council first. He did say, though, he was expecting this.
On Wednesday, the mayor said the community was ready to move on from all this. "You see this crowd behind me, they're interested in moving forward and in the leadership of the department today."
But that won't stop Howell from seeking justice.
"He's someone who spent 38 years in policing and can't figure out what he did wrong," Welch said.
The lawsuit also alleges there's "substantial" reason to believe Howell's age and race were factors in his firing.
Redus has only told us he fired Howell for insubordination issues and wouldn't elaborate on any specifics.