A former police officer from Long Beach, Calif., claims he was fired in 2011 because he is gay, CBS Los Angeles reports.
A court heard Thursday that Brent Record, 38, had a strong work history but he was let go after he came out as gay to his coworkers. Record's lawyer, David Tibor, said Record had a good service record and good relations with his colleagues for the first seven of his eight years at the department. But things changed after he came out and Sgt. Gerardo Prieto and Sgt. Scott Jenson allegedly treated Record unfairly.
The two sergeants, who are co-defendants along with the city in the discrimination case, are accused of harassing Record, CBS Los Angeles reports.
"They were looking to get him terminated, that was clear," Tibor told the Los Angeles Superior Court jury.
The defense claimed that Record was not fired because of his sexuality, however, arguing he was let go because he was "afraid to handle the most serious calls and did his best to avoid them," CBS Los Angeles writes. Deputy Long Beach City Attorney Haleh Jenkins added that several rank-and-file and supervisory members of the Long Beach Police Department are out and that the city has a number of LGBT citizens.
Jenkins said Record's actions "put the citizens of Long beach in danger" and that he resisted attempts by the department management to correct his behavior.
After allegedly receiving complaints about Record from coworkers, Prieto and Jenson kept an eye on the officer's behavior for a week and provided information to the department's internal affairs division. Jim McDonnell, who was chief at the time but is currently the Los Angels County sheriff, decided to fire Record in November 2011 after finding 14 of the 15 allegations of misconduct filed against Record to be true.
"The chief was very disappointed in the nature of his egregious actions," Jenkins said.
Tibor argued, however, that Record was subjected to anti-gay remarks from other officers. There were also "fliers mocking him for his sexual preference, some of them left in the men's restroom," CBS Los Angeles writes.
Record allegedly complained about Prieto and Jenson but they were not punished. In one incident, Tibor said the officers, who were aware that Record was gay, gave Record an assignment on the basis of his sexuality, with one of the sergeants allegedly saying that it was "right up his alley."
Jenkins said Record was good at handling minor crimes but was "less effective when it came to responding to more dangerous calls" involving "dead bodies" and "abused children." She said Prieto and Jenson pointed out what the expected from Record in hopes he would improve before they began monitoring his conduct.
"What they found out was shocking," Jenkins said, adding that Record's alleged misconduct occurred "not once, but repeatedly."
She added Record never brought up the issue of the harassment until he filed the current lawsuit in July 2012.
From our media partner EDGE