Florida Police Officer Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Department

The lawsuit said that a fellow Venice Police Department officer placed a banana in the trunk of the vehicle they shared.

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An African American police officer in Florida is suing his department, alleging he was subjected to routine racial harassment and discrimination.

Officer Kenite Webb, who works for the Venice Police Department, filed the lawsuit last week in federal court in Tampa.

The lawsuit said that a fellow officer referred to Webb as “Black” when talking about him to a resident and placed a banana in the trunk of the vehicle they shared. Someone in the department made a yellow smiley face with a bullet through the head appear on Webb’s computer, and an investigative report was fabricated to have him decertified, according to the four-count complaint.

Webb said his complaints went ignored by his superiors, including Chief Tom Mattmuller.

The lawsuit alleged that “supervisors and officers made offensive gestures and derogatory comments to Webb and verbally ridiculed and criticized Webb’s race.”

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that department officials didn't respond to calls seeking comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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