It’s a banner day out in California.
Los Angeles Fire Fighter Brenda Lee won $6.2 million after alleging that her superiors were racist, homophobic pricks. In the lawsuit, which first hit the courts back in 2005, Lee claims her superiors, including Captain Christopher Hare, “made derogatory comments against her and put her through grueling drills without proper safety precautions because of her race and sexual orientation”.
Meanwhile, San Francisco Judge Jacqueline C. Duncan awarded copper Jon Gray $50,000 in damages. Gray filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s office after some unidentified coworkers took the anti-gay piss on a not-so-funny website.
Gray explains, “It would say on there I was deputy gay or sleeping with my supervisor for overtime. It also said my stomach was full of cum.” We wonder if that’s a direct quote…
Gray complained to his superiors, but rather than addressing the issue, they told Gray to “avoid” the website. They also questioned Gray’s constitutional love – a superior compared Gray’s complaint to “violating free speech”. Judge Duncan wasn’t buying it.
Although I understand that the Web site was ‘unofficial’ and not directly controlled by the defendant, the department’s initial response that the Web site was protected speech as well as the delay in taking action is troubling. One would presume that the Sheriff’s Department would have the wherewithal to conduct an investigation to ascertain the identity of the individuals perpetrating the defamatory comments and take the appropriate action in accordance with its own policy.
Sure, the Sheriff’s department has the wherewithal, but obviously they chose not to use it…