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Detroit Police Officer Sues Department Alleging Racism

Detroit
Amanda Barberena
/
WKAR File Photo

The Detroit Police Department has been hit by a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of black officer who alleges a racially hostile work environment.

Eleven-year veteran Johnny Strickland claims racial discrimination is widespread in the department and white supervisory officers discriminate against black subordinates.

The lawsuit comes more than a year after a report by the department's Committee on Race and Equality found "the department has a growing racial problem."

In a Thursday statement, Strickland claims that while off-duty in January 2017, he accidentally entered a crime scene. When he identified himself as an officer, he says he was insulted, ridiculed and placed in handcuffs. He also said his private vehicle was searched and left in disarray and soiled by mud.

In addition to the police department, the lawsuit names Chief James Craig and other police executives.

A spokesman said the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.

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