White detective sues MSP, claiming gender, sexual orientation, racism
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - The Michigan State Police are being sued after a gay, white, female police detective sergeant was passed up for promotion because of her sexual orientation and because she's white.
Attorney James Fett spoke for Larissa LaMay on Thursday, calling it a serious, ongoing problem where the MSP is preferring minority applicants while also discriminating against gender and sexual orientation.
"It is affirmative action dressed up as 'diversity'," Fett said. "I would say they're drunk on diversity at this point."
The lawsuit was filed against MSP director Joseph Gasper and commander Keyonn Whitfield and claims LaMay was not only passed up for a promotion because she is white, but also, discriminated against for being gay.
The suit claims Whitfield openly bashes gay people and said they shouldn't be cops during a presentation last year.
"(Whitfield said ) 'he's gay how could he be a police officer, what's he doing'...he kept saying 'he gay, he gay'. He made a spectacle at himself and people are looking at her and she's looking at her shoes. It was humiliating," Fett said.
Fett says he's been dealing with issues like this with MSP since 1993 adds that he has three other recent complaints surrounding white, male officers in the state. Fett says MSP has a "history of racial preferences" and sets aside 25-percent of positions for minorities and 20-percent for females.
"It is fine to promote diversity but you can't do it illegally and they know it and that's what they are doing," he said.
One lawsuit claims that in August of last year, during a retirement party, a Black man assigned to MSP's Recruiting and Selection section - identified as sergeant Dwayne Gill, a proud comedian - violated MSP's discrimination and harassment policy by making jokes about the KKK, Asians and Dearborn's Middle Eastern community.
When the incident was reported, the suit says superiors failed to act and said that's just "Dwayne being Dwayne."
"Everybody that heard it was shocked because it clearly was inappropriate. If it was a white guy up there making these remarks would he be in trouble? The answer is obviously yes," Fett said.
In a statement to FOX 2 on Thursday, MSP said they're "committed to maintaining a work environment where there is equal opportunity for all members, one in which decisions regarding employment, promotion, retention, or any other personnel practice are not motivated by bias or based on discrimination."
"They are lying. And it's only after a number of these cases are brought that the state police and governor will stop this nonsense," Fett said.