39-year-old Georgia resident “Richard Roe” applied to become an officer with the Atlanta Police Department. During his pre-employment physical, the police physician informed Roe that his HIV-positive status disqualified him from police employment—a position in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Rehabilitation Act.
But when Roe sued the city, the police department said two contradictory things: that HIV doesn’t disqualify police candidates and that HIV-positive cops are a “direct threat” to the health and safety of others and thus not worth employing.
Cue Lambda Legal…
Lambda Legal says that the city sided with the cops without any evidence of this “direct threat” that HIV-positive policemen supposedly present. On the contrary, they say that the court ruled against Roe because he didn’t provide evidence that he wasn’t a threat.
So Lamda Legal appealed Roe’s case to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals adding, “There was no good reason to deny our client this opportunity. People living with HIV are serving as police officers all across the country; they are involved in every kind of work and participate in all walks of life.”