State troopers who won $5M racial discrimination lawsuit are suing again

They fight crime for a living and now there is a legal battle between Michigan State Police and two of their own.

Two Michigan State Police officers recently won a multi-million dollar lawsuit on the claims of racial discrimination. Since the victory they say things have gotten worse and they are suing again.

According to the new lawsuit, Michigan State Police retaliated against the troopers for winning millions of dollars in that older lawsuit.

They say they were passed up for promotions which they were qualified for and they were instead given to lower performing white state troopers.

FOX 2 talked with one of the plaintiffs.

"I'm just shy of 21 years within the department and I've always had 'satisfactory' annual performance appraisals or 'high performing,'" said Trooper Darziel Hall. 

But Hall says that changed after he and Sgt. Lamarr Johnson, who are both black, sued Michigan State Police for racial discrimination and won.

The men are now suing MSP again alleging the department retaliated against them.

Johnson claims he's been denied promotions. Hall says he was stripped of his take home vehicle, received lower performance reviews and was subjected to what he calls "bogus internal investigations."

"If I got a digit off like on a report number or something like that or I filled in a generic number because our systems were down that day," said Hall. "That turned into a full-fledged investigation instead of just approaching me and asking me hey can you explain this particular number and it could've been explained on the spot."

Hall also alleges his supervisor targeted him after accusing the higher ranking officer of racial profiling through their floating quota system. They patrolled cities that are predominantly white.

"Over 80 percent, 85-90 percent of his traffic arrests were African-Americans and as a seasoned trooper myself," Hall said. "I know the only way you can do that is if you're targeting the people, and you're not looking for the actual violation at hand."

Michigan State Trooper Craig Tuer has made the same allegation.

"Now the police I do not believe for a minute are inherently racist, but the policies that are put in place reward a racist behavior," Tuer said in a previous story.

The 20-year MSP veteran claims superiors retaliated against him for raising concerns about its floating quota system and racial profiling.

"I'm surprised the department would expect them to take this laying down," said attorney Leonard Mungo.

Mungo represented the two state troopers in their discrimination lawsuit against Michigan State Police in which a jury awarded the two more than $5 million.

Mungo is also representing them in this latest lawsuit.

"If law enforcement is too cowardly to stand up for themselves when their rights are being violated, how effective do you really think they're going to be at protecting the citizens," Mungo said.

Michigan State Police says this is a pending lawsuit with merely allegations. As far as the internal investigation into Trooper Hall, a spokeswoman says 

A spokeswoman says the internal investigations involving the trooper we interviewed were justified and today an independent labor arbitrator upheld the imposed discipline.

As for the other trooper who says he was denied promotion opportunities, MSP says he was just promoted a few weeks ago.

The two troopers have not seen a penny yet of the original lawsuit. MSP appealed that and things are in limbo right now. But an extra $360 is going to that $5 million judgment every day until that case is finally settled.


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories