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Arlington Heights officer says Rev. Shuttlesworth changed his life

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ohio - Arlington Heights police officer Jackie Parsons says Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth helped him get the pension he deserved.

"He's made a big impact on who I am and what I do today. If it weren't for him I don't know where I would be today," Parsons said.

Parsons was injured on Dec. 3, 1998. He was working a traffic stop on I-75 when a drunk driver rammed his cruiser. The cruiser hit Officer Parsons, ending his career as an officer.

Parsons was just weeks from retirement when the accident happened. He says the department was going to withhold his pension because he didn't give them his medical records. Parsons was also about to testify on behalf of a fellow officer who had filed a sexual harassment suit against the department.

"It wasn't a racial issue, it was a civil rights issue," Parsons said.

Parsons got a letter in the mail from Rev. Shuttlesworth. He said he had heard what was happening to Parsons and was coming from Burmingham to Cincinnati to help.

"With his presence he changed not only my life, it changed my daughter's life and changed my grandbaby's life," Parsons said.

Rev. Shuttlesworth came to Parsons' administrative hearing with 18 other Baptist ministers.

"We couldn't think of letting anybody, whether he is a professional person or a servant, serve a lifetime and then be put off two weeks before retirement, that's just not right," Rev. Shuttlesworth said to Parsons at the meeting in 1999.

With Rev. Shuttlesworth's help, Parsons got his retirement.

Copyright Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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