When openly gay Saregeant Ronald Crump (pictured) joined the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations Section, his superior office Lieutenant John Romero allegedly made fun of his homosexuality by describing him as “the new Ruby minus the heels”; Ruby being the woman he replaced in the unit. Another time, Romero allegedly told him, “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 found out and allegedly threatened to fire Crump for ‘rumor mongering’, stating ‘Don’t forget I hired you even through you’re gay.’
Frustrated Crump complained to then Police Chief Bill Bratton just before Crump’s month-long vacation. When Crump returned, his boss put him in a job answering 911 calls and then an even worse position on Skid Row. Tired of playing games, Crump decided to sue the LAPD for $1.16 Million. Yesterday, he won.
Crump’s attorney Gregory Smith says the department (also known as the “God Squad”) 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.”
Queer journalist Karen Ocamb says that this case runs the risk of jeopardizing “the trust the LGBT community has been slowly developing toward the long antigay LAPD”. The LAPD Internal Affairs Department has admitted that they “have a lot of work to do in this area,” but another anonymous officer says that part of the LAPD’s problem has to do with rewarding officers who don’t make waves or challenge authority with any potential controversy.
Of course, the person who created the controversy here was not Crump but his insulting superior. When opponents of the Employee Non Discrimination Act talk about gays throwing it in other people’s faces, it’s actually the antigay folks who start trouble with insults and harassment instead of civil discussion. It’s a shame, especially since Romero (who has since been made a Captain), essentially wasted $1.6 million dollars of taxpayer money because he couldn’t act like a professional around another grown man.