The West Virginia Town of Sophia has agreed to pay a former African-American police officer $600,000 to settle his race discrimination lawsuit.
McDowell, who was the only black police officer at the Sophia Police Department, was allegedly subjected to racial slurs and jokes by his coworkers. Photos of a monkey were allegedly placed on McDowell’s desk with the words “I talk like a monkey” written on them.
McDowell’s fellow officers also allegedly drew penises on his court papers or hid the documents so that McDowell would miss court hearings.
The racial harassment was allegedly done by police officers with Peck’s knowledge. McDowell claims that none of his coworkers were ever disciplined for the acts of harassment.
When McDowell complained to Peck about the hostile work environment, instead of investigating his complaints, she allegedly took steps to fire him.
McDowell was ultimately fired around April 2012, less than six months after he started working as a Sophia police officer.
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