At least one person’s not happy LAPD Sgt. Ronald Crump convinced the Los Angeles City Council to award him $1.5 million for harassment he suffered at the hands of his boss.
“This sends the wrong message to the department and the public,” says Councilman Dennis Zine, who was joined by Council Bernard Parks in disapproving of the payout. “I don’t think this is an appropriate expenditure just for some comments made to him.”
Sgt.Crump filed a complaint in 2009, after he alleges he was subject to derogatory remarks from Lieutenant John Romero, who allegedly told Crump, “I was a religion major at Liberty University. Jerry Falwell would roll over in his grave if he knew I had hired you.”
When Crump complained to his bosses’ supervisor, Romero allegedly threatened to fire Crump for “rumor mongering,” stating “Don’t forget I hired you even through you’re gay.”
Crump complained to then-Police Chief Bill Bratton, but soon found himself transferred from the LAPD’s media-relation’s department to a 911 dispatch, and then to Skid Row, which has one of the highest homeless populations in the country.
When Crump’s complaint to the LAPD Professional Standards Bureau went nowhere he filed a lawsuit. He won in 2011, but the city appealed, and has now decided to settle rather than file another appeal.
In 2011, Crump’s attorney Gregory Smith says the LAPD—once nicknamed the “God Squad” for its fundamentalist leanings—regularly fails to fairly investigate discrimination and retaliation cases.
“We offered to settle this case for $100,000 and a transfer for Sgt. Crump to Hollywood Division. The department rejected that offer,” Smith said. “From 2008 through 2009, there were approximately 350 investigations done by the LAPD concerning internal complaints of discrimination and retaliation of officers against officers, only one of which was upheld.”
At the time, journalist Karen Ocamb said the case ran the risk of jeopardizing “the trust the LGBT community has been slowly developing toward the long anti-gay LAPD.”
As part of his settlement, Crump will resign from the department. Romero, meanwhile, has advanced to captain.