Police Officers Win $900K in Discrimination Suit

Alleged superiors punished them for bias complaint

Monday, Jul 19, 2010  |  Updated 7:46 PM EDT
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Police Officers Win $900K in Discrimination Suit

NBC4

A federal jury awarded $900,000 to five black D.C. police officers after concluding that department officials retaliated against them for filing racial discrimination complaints.

The U.S. District Court jury reached its verdict earlier this month.
 
The officers were part of an elite unit that mostly targets vice crimes, according to the Washington Examiner. They filed an anonymous racial discrimination complaint in June 2006. They alleged their commanding officer, Lt. Ronald Wilkins, who is white, and other superiors figured out who filed the complaint and retaliated by denying the officers information they needed to perform their jobs. 
 
The officers also alleged they were transferred to lesser positions within a month of filing official complaints with the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the federal government.
 
Court documents say the department cited Wilkins for dereliction of duty and providing false statements to internal investigators, the Examiner reported. Wilkins remains on the force, and the officers' attorneys allege in court documents that after being reprimanded, he was given a more prestigious position.
 
An MPD spokeswoman said the police department plans to appeal the jury award.
 

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