Mark Miles of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police is filing a lawsuit against officers who sent him racist and abusive messages, reported The Daily Record. The suit claims the officers spoke in a group chat about triggering a “race war” with mentions toward far-right extremist groups.
Miles joined the police division in April 2020, becoming the only Black officer on his shift, reported The Daily Record. The lawsuit said those involved were other officers on his shift and a supervisor who often made his race a subject of conversation.
From The Daily Record:
The complaint alleges that Miles’ supervisor in Shift 5, Sgt. Stephanie Harvey, told Miles that other officers in the squad were “worried they couldn’t trust” him because of his race. Harvey told Miles that she’d informed the other officers that he was “half white and half Black,” the complaint claims.
Miles’ race quickly became a factor in the text messages he received in the group chat, according to the complaint. As soon as he was added to the group, Harvey allegedly sent a photo of a Black child that said “Well hello motherf—er.” On another occasion, Harvey texted the group, “They want a race war…ok lets go. Miles ur on our side … at least half of u is!” according to the complaint.
Harvey didn’t stop there. According to the complaint she also proudly proclaimed herself as racist, misogynistic and homophobic. Then she went further to suggest it was “time to start killing Black Lives Matter protestors” to kick off a civil war. Another officer responded back, “Boogaloo is coming,” referring to a far-right extremist movement. Per the suit, Harvey was also alleged to be dismissive of racial bias training and claimed racism was “made up.”
Once Miles reported these messages to another supervisor, they retaliated instead of looking into the issue. Miles was removed from the group chat, excluded from work events and even when he called for back up at a high-risk stop, no one showed.
The Maryland-National Capital Park Police has since released a statement responding to the suit:
From the Daily Record:
“When a series of secret text messages among a group of Park Police officers came to the attention of our management, we promptly initiated an investigation and took appropriate action based on the findings of that inquiry,” the agency said. “In accordance with the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, several officers were suspended and referred to the disciplinary process for termination.”
“While we cannot disclose the details of individual personnel actions or pending disciplinary proceedings, the suggestion that Park Police management ignored allegations of misconduct by this group of officers is simply incorrect, and we will make the results of the trial board process public at the appropriate time.”
The lawsuit calls for Harvey to be fired and for the department to monitor employment complaints of misconduct to make sure no one has to go through what Miles did. Miles is also seeking compensation for the “physical and emotional distress, humiliation and embarrassment” he endured, reported WTOP News.