Yet another police officer is going to court to fight his police department for years of hostility and discrimination.
According to USA Today, gay officer Jay Brome is suing the California Highway Patrol for 20 years of alleged discrimination and harassment.
Brome says that he has dealt with mistreatment at the workplace for decades and in several ways such as finding hangers molded into the shape of penises on his locker, hearing homophobic slurs constantly, and having his name carved out of an award plaque.
Unfortunately, those are the tamest tactics used against Brome. Brome says his fellow officers would never respond to calls for backup while he was out in the field. If Brome called for hit-and-run investigations, car chases, vehicle impoundments, or even situations where he needed to pull out his gun, his co-workers would never come to support him.
Possibly Brome's worst memory was one of his first experiences while on the job. While attending the highway patrol academy, Brome was confronted by a fellow cadet. The cadet held a gun against Brome’s head and said, “I know you are gay. Tell me you are gay and I will pull the trigger.”
Brome tried to report several internal complaints about these acts of discrimination and harassment, but he says nothing ever happened. None of the situations or officers were ever investigated.
“They refuse to acknowledge there’s a problem and they refuse to do anything about it,” said Brome to USA Today.
Brome is one of several police officers who have filed similar lawsuits against their respective police departments. For instance, 28-year-old Brendan Mannix filed a lawsuit last year with the San Francisco Superior Court.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Mannix was bothered frequently by two sergeants at the Central Station in San Francisco. He alleges that they would constantly berate him for being a “queen” or “too dramatic”
When Mannix tried to talk to the sergeants privately and settle the matter, one responded by saying, “If you think I am a bully, file a f***ing complaint.”
When Mannix did file a complaint, he says that the officer in charge omitted several incidents from the report. Mannix says he was then assigned to jobs like watching a suspect for more than 12 hours as unofficial punishment.
Bromes is one of 11 LGBTQ officers who have filed complaints of discrimination in 2016 and more officers like Mannix have appeared since then. In most of these cases, several attempts at filing complaints or initiating internal investigations were ignored or thwarted. As such, these court cases are the last results at justice.
Will these LGBTQ servicemen and women get justice? Hopefully so, but we’ll see in time.
h/t: USA Today