The Washington Examiner reports that a jury has weighed in favor of the claimants in a profound racial discrimination and retaliation case involving five black police officers in Washington D.C. The $900,000 verdict aims to compensate the officers, who worked for the First District’s Focus Mission Unit – a top level vice squad. Their commanding officer, Lieutenant Wilkins, allegedly engaged in racial discrimination back in 2006. On June 16, 2006 the five officers got together and wrote a letter complaining about what was going on in their department. Several months later, the officers got targeted – transferred to lower positions and taken out of their unit.
More disturbingly, their commanders allegedly did not tell the 5 officers about armed robbery suspects around them and also withheld info about critical observation posts. In addition to demoting/transferring the elite officers out of their unit, the upper echelon of the force moved Wilkins into “a more prestigious position,” according to the Examiner.
The jury believed the claimants’ argument that retaliation occurred in response to the anonymous letter (and follow-up official complaint) of racial discrimination. That said, a spokeswoman for the D.C. police told the Examiner that the department will likely appeal the decision.
As this story shows, racial discrimination, harassment, and retaliation can rear its head even in institutions designed specifically to protect the public interest. If you or a loved one or co-worker has experienced something like this – such as being demoted or fired for complaining about unfair treatment at work or hostile comments from your boss – you may be entitled to significant compensation and other legal remedies.
The attorneys at Joseph & Kirschenbaum can help you explore your rights. For a free and zero-obligation consultation, dial (212) 688-5640 right now, or review www.jhllp.com for more info about the attorneys and firm’s philosophy.