A Black Columbus police lieutenant, who received just $2 from a federal jury that found she suffered discrimination and retaliation, is seeking a new trial for damages, saying she is insulted by the tiny award she received.
According to Columbus Expedition, Lieutenant Melissa McFadden won his civil lawsuit against the city of Columbus on June 13 and was awarded $2 by a jury in the U.S. District Court in Columbus.
In June 2018, McFadden filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging she had been discriminated against by being reassigned following an internal complaint filed against her.
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John Marshall, one of McFadden’s lawyers, said after the verdict that his client felt like she had won the case. “It was more about principle than money,” he said. the dispatch.
On Monday (June 27), however, McFadden’s legal team reportedly filed a motion seeking a new trial for damages, calling the jury’s $2 judgment “insulting.”
McFadden’s motion said the jury “perpetrated the very discrimination and retaliation the jury found the city committed by being apparently entrenched in dislike of her because she too aggressively pursued claims against what ‘she perceived … as discrimination and retaliation.”
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McFadden’s original lawsuit stemmed from his reassignment to the Columbus Police Division’s property room in 2017 following a complaint accusing him of creating a hostile work environment and giving a sergeant an assessment of higher performance than deserved because he was black.
An internal investigation into McFadden recommended his dismissal, accusing him of fostering a “mindset of black activism” and an “us versus them” attitude by favoring black officers over white officers. But the city’s director of public safety refused to fire McFadden because the internal investigation failed to meet its burden of proof.
She accused the department of retaliation in her lawsuit and in 2020 self-published a book, titled Walk the thin black lineabout the racism she experiences in the police.
“One voice is missing in our national outrage over police brutality: the black officer. They walk a thin black line every time they put on their uniform,” the intro reads. “A tightrope, really. On one side is the black community they strive to serve and protect from unfair treatment. On the other, a racist institution where they themselves suffer permanent discrimination. Retaliation is swift when they dare to expose the motivation or execution of the many tactics used to brutalize citizens and intimidate minority officers.
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McFadden’s attorney said she still works for the police department in the officers’ welfare office and expects a promotion to major.