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Police officer and son sue department for race discrimination

A police officer on the force for over a decade has found himself pursuing a discrimination claim against the very officers with whom he worked after assisting while off-duty during a criminal incident. The man's son is also involved in the race discrimination suit. Colorado police officers who feel race discrimination is present or that it is the reason for specific treatment can file suits and possibly seek damages dependent upon the facts of the situation.

In this case, the man and his son were doing lawn work when they heard sirens and observed a tow truck hit a car. The man behind the wheel was fleeing from police. The off-duty officer tried to help the woman whose car was hit and then went after the man fleeing police. A violent struggle ensued as the off-duty officer subdued the man wanted by police.

When police arrived on the scene, they handcuffed and allegedly assaulted the off-duty officer who was subduing the suspect. The man's son, who also worked undercover with the police, was also the victim of an assault by the officers. The officer was injured during the incident and never returned to work, as he received disability pension. However, the officer and his son contend they were treated as they were based on race and are seeking $1 million in damages.

The police in this incident have said the mistreatment of the officer and his son was related to race. A Colorado employee who finds him or herself in a situation in which race discrimination has occurred, and the employer acknowledges race played a role, may be able to use that acknowledgement as evidence in a civil case. Other evidence that may help a case can include documentation of treatment, witness accounts or accounts from others who may have endured similar treatment and who are part of the same protected class.

Source:, "Former Rhode Island Cop Files Lawsuit Claiming Racial Discrimination in Arrest by Fellow Officers", Breanna Edwards, Sept. 29, 2015

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