City settles officer’s discrimination lawsuit for $65,000

- FILE - Bridgeport police (WTNH)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — The city of Bridgeport is paying $65,000 to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by a police officer who was demoted last year.

Sgt. Lonnie Blackwell claims in the lawsuit that his leadership in the minority police organization known as The Guardians led to “harassment, ridicule and unfavorable employment practices.” Blackwell also alleges he was the subject of two anonymous racist letters sent to former Chief Joseph Gaudett in 2012.

The Connecticut Post reports Blackwell’s lawyer calls the settlement fair, but it does not end the legal fight against his demotion.

The officer was demoted in 2016 after former officer Clive Higgins claimed Blackwell ordered him to distribute a fake racist letter within the department. Higgins pleaded guilty to criminal charges for the letter, but Blackwell was never charged.

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Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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