A black former Michigan State Police officer believes that race is the reason he was demoted after he reportedly left work early, while a white colleague who had two dogs from his K-9 unit die in his care got a second chance, Click on Detroit reports.
The now-retired trooper, who was not identified, is reportedly suing the state police, claiming that after being accused of leaving a work shift early and misfiling time cards, he was demoted and had his K-9 dogs taken away—despite his claim that a sergeant had given him permission to leave his patrol early.
“For them to get together with the command and concoct some crazy investigation to get you removed from the unit, it’s clearly because I’m black,” the former cop, who was the only black trooper in the K-9 unit at the time, told the news site.
“It speaks to a discriminatory mindset. It speaks to a discriminatory custom and culture in the Michigan State Police,” attorney Leonard Mungo, who is representing the former officer, said.
There are also claims of racially charged remarks.
“We have the representations from a white trooper that my client was called ‘Buckwheat,’ and my client was called ‘Sambo’ and other racially derogatory terms,” Mungo added.
Meanwhile, the black officer pointed out that a white colleague had two police dogs die while in his care and received no punishment. The dogs reportedly died after being left in a car for 11 hours, with the windows up and the vehicle off.
“It was kept hush-hush and he was allowed to stay in the unit,” the source said. “He was written a reprimand and was immediately issued two more dogs.”
In the Michigan Penal Code, the site notes, such an oversight is meant to be punishable by jail time and fines.
“He wasn’t removed from the unit and I was,” the black cop said. “I just don’t see how the two can even be comparable.”
Read more at Click on Detroit.