One of the latest cases originates in California. The former deputy police chief of the Burbank Police Department alleges that his demotion to Captain resulted from supporting officers who had filed complaints against the department.
According to a September 30th story in the Los Angeles Times, some of those complaints appear quite substantial. In July, a Medal of Valor recipient filed a lawsuit against the Burbank Police Department after allegedly suffering racial taunts that spanned years, the lawsuit claims. Christopher Lee Dunn also complained that he was discouraged from joining the department's narcotics unit because he was black.
Dunn's lawsuit further alleges that after being targeted by management, he was eventually run out of the department entirely.
In May, five other officers launched actions against the force, alleging an environment in which use of racial slurs, as well as slurs involving ethnicity and sexual preference were not discouraged. The officers alleged the slurs were directed at them, their colleagues and suspects as well as the public at large.
The LA Times reports that various investigations into the Burbank Police Department have either concluded, or are ongoing. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Gary Bric told the LA Times that the City had launched an investigation into the department long before the various lawsuits were filed. The Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department also conducted an independent review, the results of which are expected to be turned over to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
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On September 30th, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed that it too had launched an investigation into possible civil rights violations at the Burbank Police Department.
His Worship Mayor Bric promises a full and unfettered accounting of the allegations and of the overall behaviors and operation of the force. "I'm sure people are looking at this and have questions and concerns about what's happening to our Police Department," he said. "But we can assure there's been no impact on public safety."
Among the 7 lawsuits filed by various officers over allegations of racial discrimination and unlawful demotions or firings, is an action filed by former Deputy Chief Bill Taylor. He submitted his claim in August.