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The LAPD Harassed Sgt. Crumb For Being Gay, So He Sued Them For $1.6 Million

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.

    • ohplease

      What makes this even worse is that Sgt. Crump was literally the poster boy for the supposedly newly LGBT-friendly LAPD, appearing in print media, including flyers handed out at Pride parades, as their model employee.

      The LAPD continues to be resistant to following their own rules and the local and state laws regarding discrimination. There’s no excuse for this at all and certainly no excuse for it in 2011. Just knock it off already, LAPD!

      May 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erich

      Good. Once the city realizes that’s getting too expensive to have bigots on staff, changes might start to be made.

      On an unrelated note, he’s a hottie.

      May 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam

      @ohplease: It really doesn’t matter if it’s 2011. Discrimination and bigotry doesn’t just fade away because time passes. And, unfortunately, Crump winning this case won’t make the anti-gay culture of the LAPD go away.

      May 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ohplease

      @TheRealAdam: Actually, discrimination and bigotry do fade away because time passes, which is why nobody thinks twice today about why we don’t have slavery or why women can vote. That’s also why the LAPD even has LGBT outreach in the first place. Disappear, no — there are always the crazies — but fade away, yes.

      The LAPD has been resisting this natural social evolution regardless that their resistance is consistently harmful to both the LAPD and the city. They wouldn’t even sever their relationship with the BSA through several years of community demands (such severance being a very easy thing to do and it caused no problems when they finally did it), even though that relationship was in direct contradiction to policy and law.

      The question is why the LAPD still let the crazies call the shots in a day and age when they have no reason to think they can possibly get away with it.

      May 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Good, people don’t have to love us, they just need to realize that bigotry is going to be inconvienient for them.

      As for the good officer. If Law and Order SVU needs a new cop, he should sign up. He looks like the star of that show about 10 years ago.

      May 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wrecks

      He must be a Dorry, because he’s so hunky.

      May 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TMikel

      Romero should be fired or at least reduced to a beat cop in the same skid row assignment he gave Crump. Kudos to Crump for having the courage and fortitude to sue and congratulations on his win.

      May 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Southside Shorty

      Kudos and congrats and all that, but if he was initially willing to settle for $100K, he should take that amount and donate the rest back to the city of L.A., which is drowning in debt. Not that I blame the man for taking action, but the city doesn’t need to go $1.6M further in the red because this guy was picked on at work.

      May 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      @Southside Shorty: said…

      “Not that I blame the man for taking action, but the city doesn’t need to go $1.6M further in the red because this guy was picked on at work.”

      I get what you are saying shorty, but it could be looked at then, that you are rewarding the city for not settling and fighting what was obviously a legit claim. The fact that they were too stupid to settle, and that the court hit them with such an amount makes it sound like the facts were pretty clear.

      Additinally the money was probably given because he is now unable to work as a cop in L.A. without retaliation, the brilliant police force, by forcing him to publiclly sue put him in that position. I do get your point, but I think that in someways the city need to realize that they will be put in a bad position if they act stupidly.

      May 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJ

      Serves them right! I’d like to marry this man lol

      May 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.

      It’s a thankless job anyway… and on top of that, you don’t get respect from your peers who do the same work?! That’s just fucked. Good for him!

      May 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~

      @ohplease: I hate to break this to you but women voting and slavery issues are still brought up and there is still heavy racial discrimination. Bigotry does not fade away, it merely gets brushed under the carpet only to resurface later. That it is 2011 really makes no difference because GLBT rights are still rather controversial. Now if you were to apply this “It’s 2011…” rant to the high school that refused to let a girl graduate because she refused to wear a dress… then that would surely be a more accurate application.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~

      @Southside Shorty: ABSOLUTELY! They were given the chance to settle… they didn’t. Perhaps they can pay the difference out of their own pockets!

      May 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam

      @~PR~: Thank you! This is exactly what I wanted to say but I didn’t want to get in to that discussion.

      May 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JP

      Crumb gets $1.6 MM, Romero gets to keep his job, taxpayers loose $1.6 MM. That’s fair.

      May 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joey T

      and how would Romero like it if someone called him a Spic? Ya…. that’s how gays feel too Mr. Romero!

      May 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CodeBlaze

      i think it funny that people think Crump was the one that rejet.. it look more like the department was the one to mme

      “We offered to settle this case for $100,000 and a transfer for Sgt. Crump to Hollywood Division. [b][u]The department[/u] rejected that offer[/b],” 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.”

      Sgt is a hottie

      May 22, 2011 at 5:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries

      God, what a hunk! Where was he when Queerty was doing Morning Goods? :P

      May 22, 2011 at 11:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MattGMD

      I’m sure Sgt. Crump will celebrate when LAPD cuts him a check for the $1.16M. Appeals courts have a consistently nasty habit of chopping monetary awards to be paid by municipalities. Good on Sgt. Crump for not backing down.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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