African-American Sergeant Files Lawsuit against LAPD for Retaliation in Speaking Out Against Alleged Racism in the Department
On Wednesday, September 2, Matthew McNicholas of the Los Angeles-based law firm McNicholas & McNicholas, filed a lawsuit on behalf of 34-year Los Angeles Police Department veteran Sergeant Wayne Guillary, alleging discrimination, harassment and retaliation for speaking out against suspected racism and illegal activity in the department.
The lawsuit details several occasions where Mr. Guillary was a victim of his actions against racism, including:
- In 2013, when he was berated and demeaned by a captain for merely informing his supervisor of a traffic accident in which an officer was taken to the hospital. Mr. Guillary emailed his chief to express his concerns about what he believed was a racially related comment.
- In 2014, when he spoke out against LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s handling of a white officer who allegedly made racial slurs against blacks in a bar while off duty.
- In 2014, he appeared before the Board of Police Commissioners to report various captains for participating in the “ghost cars” scheme, where patrol divisions would have people log into squad car computers to make it appear that they were on patrol, when they really were not.
- In 2015, he received his first Notice To Correct Deficiencies for allegedly not informing his Captain (who had gone home for the night) about a late-night police chase involving an officer shooting. This document was written three months after the incident despite the fact that Guillary actually called his captain the night of the incident, spoke to him and documented such call in the official division log.
- Again in 2015, he was demoted from a watch commander due to a 1997 medical condition that had never been used against him before for any reason.
“This kind of discrimination has damaged Mr. Guillary’s professional reputation, therefore hindering his ability to be promoted and defeating his means to earn a living,” says Mr. McNicholas. “Our client has the right and duty to identify and report improper department activities, and not be retailed or discriminated against for it.”
As Panel Counsel to the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Mr. McNicholas has represented police officers in similar situations, including more recently two African-American LAPD Detectives who were subjected to discrimination and harassment based on race.
Read full complaint.