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Saturday, February 20, 2010

California Cops File Lawsuit, Allege Homophobic Harassment by Fellow Officers

"A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges the Roseville Police Department fostered a hostile work environment that targeted gay officers and those perceived as gay," reports the Auburn Journal. "Two current and one former Roseville police officers filed the civil rights lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages from the city and police department."

"Plaintiffs in the suit, Roseville Police Department Investigations Supervisor Sgt. Darin DeFreece, Officer Ken Marler and former narcotics detective Michael Lackl argue that police management created the hostile work environment by allowing ongoing sexually discriminatory harassment."

"The complaint alleges anti-gay and other discriminatory comments are used in everyday language and in official department briefings. Words such as c----sucker, fag and pole smoker are commonplace in the department, according to the lawsuit. The words are used in general or toward specific individuals, whether it be department officers, the general public or people the officers arrest." READ MORE

MORE COVERAGE

Roseville Cops: We Were Targeted For Being Gay

Roseville, California) Three police officers within the Roseville Police Department say they tried for two years to get the city to stop widespread discrimination against gay officers and other perceived as gay, but it didn't work. So now, they're suing to stop it and let everyone know about it.

Roseville Police Sergeant Darin Defreece, Officer Ken Marler and former Officer Michael Lackl have filed a 31 page lawsuit, claiming members of the command staff at the Roseville Police Department have zero tolerance for any officers who are openly gay, or perceived as gay. "The department really tries to have this clean cut image, but once you get within the department, it's ugly," says Joy Rosenquist, the officer's attorney.

Marler is the only officer who's openly gay, and Lackl and Defreece are both bisexual, and married to women. Defreece alleges in the lawsuit that a supervisor said he was gay and that his marriage was a sham, and was only entered into for the purpose of advancing in the department. READ MORE


Roseville Officers File Lawsuit Alleging Harassment of Gay Cops

(Roseville, California) Investigative Sgt. Darin DeFreece, former detective Michael Lackl and Officer Ken Marler, allege fostered a hostile work environment targeting gay officers and those perceived to be gay.

"Nobody cared enough to listen," DeFreece said. A 16-year veteran, 10 of them with Roseville, DeFreece says derogatory comments have always been commonplace anywhere from the briefing to the locker rooms. "There's a sense of permissiveness, that people are allowed to make offensive comments, make it a little bit uncomfortable for people to have an alternative lifestyle," DeFreece said.

According to the lawsuit, one captain explained that a security gate code and voicemail access with the numbers 13-69, symbolized 13 as being unlucky and 69 for it's sexual connotation. READ MORE


Details Released in Roseville Police Anti-gay Harassment Lawsuit

(Roseville, California) Plaintiffs in the suit, Roseville Police Department Investigations Supervisor Sgt. Darin DeFreece, Officer Ken Marler and former narcotics detective Michael Lackl argue that police management created the hostile work environment by allowing ongoing sexually discriminatory harassment.

According to the complaint, soon after a police scene technician complained about harassment based on sexual orientation the offenders were not disciplined and the technician was transferred to a low-profile assignment.

During a teambuilding event in July 2008, the Police Officers Association president informed supervisors that calling people “fags was undermining their team building efforts.”

Alleged anti-gay harassment popped up again after an undercover prostitution sting initiated by the Roseville Police Vice-Narcotics team. The first suspect in the sting was male, and Sgt. Darin DeFreece was able to secure the arrest by posing as a John. Sgt. Kelby Newton heard about the successful arrest and allegedly told Officer Mike Lackl he must be jealous since DeFreece negotiated sex with another male. According to the complaint, Newton then made a comment to Lackl that he bet DeFreece was really good at getting the guy (male prostitute).

After Lackl complained about harassment from Newton, he was reassigned by the police captain referred to as “Captain 13-69” from the vice-narcotics team to a low-profile job, even though he had excellent performance evaluations. According to the suit, the unnamed police captain told Lackl it would make things easier. Newton however was allegedly promoted and put on the fast track for further career moves. Lackl was later fired after an internal affairs investigation. READ MORE

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