Workplace discrimination may happen anywhere, even in law enforcement. When racial tensions from a nationwide incident seep into a precinct, even the bonds between fellow officers may feel shaken to their core.
The Minnesota Star Tribune highlights the details of an allegedly race-oriented changing of the guard in the case of Derek Chauvin—the police officer charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Officers of color limited by higher-ups
The superintendent of the Ramsey county jail admitted in a statement to limiting exposure of “employees of color” to a murder suspect who could potentially aggravate their feelings.
Eight correctional officers at the jail—who all identify as Black, Hispanic, or Pacific-Islander—say this impacted their jobs in a negative and distressing way. They believe this order amounted to segregation and implied that the superintendent could not trust them to perform their duties because of the color of their skin.
One sergeant recalls starting a routine pat-down on Chauvin when he arrived, only to have the superintendent stop him and replace him with white officers to continue the pat-down.
Other charges in the lawsuit include claims of a white, female lieutenant having “special access” to Chauvin’s cell.
Justice abroad and justice in the workplace
All employees have certain basic rights and legal protections. No matter the circumstance, no employee should face race-based discrimination in the line of their employment or duty. The mediation for this case fell through because the parties were unable to reach a settlement. For anyone in this situation, diligence and comprehensive investigation may help more smoothly resolve these discrimination issues with or without litigation