COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A group of Columbus police officers has filed a federal lawsuit accusing a supervisor within the department of racial discrimination.
The lawsuit, filed by 12 Black and white Columbus police officers, accuses Melissa McFadden, a Black commander with the department, of treating Black officers differently than white officers under her command.
McFadden, who was previously awarded $2 by a jury in her own racial discrimination lawsuit against the city, is accused of, among other things, offering an “official” and an “unofficial” performance evaluation for a Black sergeant, telling Black officers that white officers thought less of them, and saying some Black officers were a “white type” of Black person.
In addition to McFadden, the lawsuit also names the city, Mayor Andrew Ginther, members of the Department of Public Safety, and city attorney Zach Klein as defendants.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of creating a hostile work environment, racial discrimination, retaliation, deprivation of rights, conspiracy to violate civil rights, and neglect to prevent such a conspiracy.
The plaintiffs are seeking all back pay with interest, compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, and punitive damages.