Gay Officer Suing NYPD Claims Discrimination Led To Poor Evaluation

Openly gay New York police sergeant Michael Fox is claiming a superior officer gave him a negative review because of his sexual orientation, which resulted in Fox losing both his paid leave to pursue a Masters degree and the NYPD scholarship that was paying for his schooling.

Fox is suing to get his leave and funding reinstated.

Before transferring to the West 100th Street station, Fox had received exceptional reviews since joining the force in 1998. But at the 24th precinct house, according to Gothamist, Platoon Commander Lieutenant Roger Lurch felt Fox wasn’t serious about his job and gave him a 2.5 out of 5 rating on his evaluation.

The out officer claims Lurch routinely sneered at him, saying things like “You’re not a real cop,” and “You belong at a desk.” Fox was also allegedly told that someone’s not a “real” cop until he gets complaints of brutality lodged against him, reports the New York Post. “It was clear to me from the beginning that as I had never worked in the same tough precincts as he had, I would never be a ‘real’ cop in Lt. Lurch’s eyes,” says Fox.

But Lurch wasn’t alone in thinking Fox—whose previous experience was mostly administrative—wasn’t up to snuff:

Precinct commanding officer Kathleen O’Reilly said in an affidavit that Fox “exhibited a flippant attitude, stating that in the scheme of things it didn’t matter because his prior evaluations were above standards.”

A judge initially ruled against Fox in December, but he has filed a new suit alleging bias.

Photo: Elvert Barnes