(KTTV) Earl Wright, following his lawyer's advice, didn't have anything to say to me as he left the Los Angeles County Courthouse for a lunch break Tuesday, but the racial harassment lawsuit he filed against the city said plenty.
Wright, an LAPD officer, says he was the victim of racism more that once from supervisors at the LAPD Central Division -- at least one of whom I've learned was fired after all this surfaced.
Some examples from the court documents we obtained:
-- Wright says he once called his supervisor needing to leave early only to have him ask, "Why? Do you need to go pick watermelon?"
-- He says that when he was called into the station house back in 2009 to receive a cake to celebrate his 20 years with the department, it was topped with fried chicken and a slice of watermelon.
-- There were photos of him manipulated with what he said were racist captions, including one calling him ''the last Jackson." Another was captioned ''The Soul Glow."
-- There were references to the N-word.
-- There was a mock up of an ad for the old TV show "Sanford and Sons" with his picture pasted onto it, he alleges.
You get the idea.
It's just jaw-dropping reading and there's really no reason think he would make this stuff up, and the docs filed with court has the evidence, in terms of copies of the photos to back up his claims.
At the time, local newspaper coverage talked about all this being practical jokes, but Wright clearly didn't think it was funny. And once this came to light back then six supervisors were transferred -- and at least one was eventually fired.
Why is this relevant? Well aside from the shock value on the surface, remember we've been talking about officers who've come forward to us in the wake of crazed ex-cop Christopher Dorner's death who said that the things he wrote about in his so-called ''manifesto'' were accurate. One of them was that racism was alive and well in the department.
It's tough to believe, but even LAPD Chief Charlie Beck acknowledged to me that ''we're a microcosm, a subset of society and all the ills of society will be here in the department." He went on to say ''we can do better."
Amen to that.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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