LOS ANGELES – An openly gay police sergeant who said he was subjected to derogatory remarks by his supervisor was awarded $1.1 million by a jury on Thursday.
Sgt. Ronald Crump worked for the Los Angeles Police Department’s media relations section in 2008 and 2009. While there, he said his supervisor, Lt. John Romero, made remarks about his sexuality, including that Crump was “the new Ruby minus the heels,” a reference to a woman he succeeded in the unit.
Crump said that after he complained about the remarks through formal channels, his concerns were deemed to be unfounded. He ultimately was transferred to the city’s Skid Row area, a move he said was punitive and cost him future opportunities for promotion.
“It was a serious dilemma for me to sue the agency that I admire and respect,” Crump told the Los Angeles Times. “But my commanding officer made poor decisions that, unchallenged, would have had a serious effect on me and other employees who are retaliated against.”
City Attorney spokesman John Franklin said the office is reviewing legal options.
The LAPD has come under recent criticism from the inspector general of the department’s civilian oversight agency. A report found serious shortcomings in the way the department probes officers’ retaliation charges.
The department has promised to increase training for supervisors accused of misconduct.
Last month, another jury awarded $2 million to two officers who said there was a “quota system” for writing traffic tickets.