Police discriminated against Columbus lieutenant, jury finds
A federal jury sided with a Black police lieutenant's claim that she was racially discriminated and retaliated against by the Columbus Division of Police.
Yes, but: Lt. Melissa McFadden was awarded just $2 in compensatory damages.
Catch up quick: McFadden, a 26-year veteran who remains employed by the department, filed the lawsuit in 2018.
- She claimed the department retaliated against her for helping a fellow Black female officer file a discrimination complaint.
- That retaliation involved opening an investigation into her workplace conduct and demoting her to a "humiliating post in the property room," her lawsuit alleged.
- McFadden sought more than $25,000 in damages for emotional distress and "a significant reduction in the enjoyment in her life."
Meanwhile, as the case progressed, McFadden published a memoir in 2020 called "Walking the Thin Black Line."
- The book's description says it highlights her years of "coping with the personal trauma of working for a racist police department."
What they're saying: "It was more about the principle than money," McFadden's attorney, John Marshall, told the Columbus Dispatch.
- "She feels like really she won."
The other side: City Attorney Zach Klein's office said in a provided statement it "takes seriously any allegations of retaliation and discrimination by city employers."
- "We thank the judge and jury for taking the time necessary to understand, deliberate and decide this case. We respect their decision."
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