Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Thursday, January 20, 2005

MDV: Reverse Discrimination Award Nets Fired Policemena $1.6 Million


Only in LA? Not likely, but that is where a jury awarded a white policeman, terminated following a widely publicized video of him slamming a 16 year old onto a squad car and punching him in the jaw after a routine case, $1.6 million. The Houston Chronicle headlined the story, Officers in beating case awarded $2.4 million. The extra $810,000 went to his partner, Bijan Darvish also white, who was suspended for 10 days. The rub -- and the basis for the cause of action, a black officer who was present at the scene was only suspended for 5 days. For a photo of the incident that ultimately led to this check out the London Times Story, The policemen disciplined for this beating have just been awarded $2.4m.

Reverse discrimination? Bingo, or at least so the jury said. This is one of those verdicts which, on the surface at least, does not seem to make a lot of sense, and my guess is that it will be a substantially smaller amount, if anything, that is ever paid. But it reminds us all who reside on the defense side of the docket that powerful and unpredictable forces exist not only in nature, but in the jury box.


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