A Washington, D.C. jury has awarded $900,000 to five African-American law enforcement officers in the District of Columbia after deciding they were punished for their complaints of racial discrimination, according to WTOP News and the Washington Examiner. The officers, part of an investigative unit for vice crimes, complained twice about alleged discrimination in the unit in mid-2006, in an anonymous letter to department officials, then in an official complaint. The allegations in the complaint included the contention that the officers had been labeled as troublemakers by the unit’s commanding officer.
After a few weeks of the officers' formal complaint, all five were removed from the unit and given lesser posts. The U.S. District Court jury made the determination earlier this July of liability. Apparently, after the officers filed a racial discrimination complaint in an anonymous letter in June 2006, court records indicated that the officer’s supervisors had uncovered who was responsible for the letter. The officers' attorneys contended that the officers were then denied information that they needed in order to perform their jobs. Other court documents demonstrated that in the month after the officers filed official complaints with the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the federal government, they were transferred to lesser positions.The Department (DC MPD) has apparently indicated that it plans to appeal the decision, which has been their consistent practice whenever they lose a court case. In any event, the verdict appears to have been a long fought-out victory for the officers involved. See the Washington Examiner News Story