Posted on June 20, 2014

White Detroit Police Lieutenant Files Discrimination Complaint Against Department

CBS Detroit, June 20, 2014

A lieutenant in charge of the Detroit Police Department’s drug unit says he was the victim of racial discrimination and subjected to a hostile work environment for reporting wrongdoing.

Lt. Charles Flanagan, who is white, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 28, four days after Internal Affairs conducted an audit of the Narcotics Section, according to a report in the Detroit News.

Flanagan’s attorney, Mike Rataj, said the 29-year police veteran uncovered numerous issues after assuming command of the unit in November–including a sergeant who failed to turn over several pieces of drug evidence and another who made up false evidence tags for items seized during drug raids, mainly electronics, and then kept the items for personal use. The alleged incidents took place before Flanagan commanded the drug unit.

Flanagan said he and two other white officers who are his friends were going to be transferred because he reported suspected wrongdoing.

According to the report, Deputy Chief Daryl Brown, who ran the drug unit when the alleged violations occurred, recommended the transfer. Brown, an African-American, currently runs the Criminal Investigations Bureau, which oversees the drug unit currently under Flanagan’s leadership.