Black People : Black Minneapolis Cops File Discrimination Lawsuit

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    Black Minneapolis Cops File Discrimination Lawsuit

    by Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
    December 3, 2007

    Five African-American officers in the Minneapolis Police Department have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the department and police chief Tim Dolan. Dolan denies that his personnel decisions have been based on race. But the officers say the department has a history of racism and the situation has gotten worse during Dolan's tenure as chief.

    The five police officers are all men with at least 18 years experience in the department. They say they've been passed over for promotions, lost out on overtime pay and have been unfairly disciplined -- all because they are African American.

    The most recent allegation of discrimination involves Sgt. Charlie Adams. Last week, Adams was accused of insubordination after he publicly spoke out against statements made by his commanding officer.

    The incident occurred during the investigation into the killing of bicyclist Mark Loesch. Homicide unit commander Lt. Amelia Huffman announced that one of the suspects in the killing told investigators the victim was looking to buy marijuana just before he was killed.

    Adams spoke out and said there was no evidence that the victim had been looking for drugs, and he apologized to Loesch's family for the statements made by Huffman.

    The complaint alleges that while Adams' white partner made the same statements, only Adams received a punitive transfer out of the homicide division.

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