Lawsuit alleges discriminatory hiring by state police

A new class action lawsuit claims the Michigan State Police, are not hiring enough black and Hispanic troopers. 

“They have to change their standards,” said Leonard Mungo, attorney.

Attorney Leonard Mungo represents a Detroit Police Sgt. who claims his application was denied by the Michigan State Police, because he is black.

"If the workforce is not diversified, then we have this ongoing racial divide in the country, it's like a powder keg for problems,” said Mungo.

The application to become a state trooper is among the most rigorous of Michigan law enforcement, including several written and physical tests, interviews and an extensive background check.

The sergeant was turned away because of credit issues on his foreclosed house.

“To hold that one item against an individual and prevent them from gainful employment, in an industry and in a profession that there well qualified for, is wrong,” said Mungo.

So far, the sergeant is the only person claiming damages for discrimination in the class action lawsuit.

The MSP responding to his claim in a statement, saying, "The Michigan State Police unequivocally denies the allegations in the court filing and we will vigorously defend the department's fair and impartial hiring practices."

Still, this attorney argues the state police have a record of discrimination accusations dating back to the 70's.

"There's 14% African-Americans in the state and you should have some representative percentage of African-Americans, women and Hispanics working in the force,” said Mungo.

Mungo and the Sgt. are seeking damages for the denied application, as well as changes to the MSP's hiring standards.

"It's good for America, it's good for law-enforcement and it's good for the community,” said Mungo.


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