- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A former drug analyst at the Columbia Police Department’s crime lab says that she lost her job because of her race and that the agency unfairly blamed her for its shortcomings.

During a news conference Tuesday, Brenda Frazier told local media outlets that police officials told her to resign or face being fired after an audit by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department found inconsistencies in her work and raised concerns about her training and methodology.

Frazier started her job with the drug lab in 2011. On Tuesday, Frazier says that she noticed at that time that lab equipment had not been calibrated in several years. Frazier also said that she was told she would be sent to the State Law Enforcement Division for training within her first year, but that never happened.

She said she told supervisors about both issues, but neither changed.

“I was denied the SLED forensic science required training that was similarly situated and provided to white drug chemists,” Frazier said. “The City of Columbia made me the scapegoat and hung me out to dry to the media.”

Frazier said that the city hired her to upgrade the lab but failed to support her professionally, then turned her whistleblowing complaints about lab shortcomings against her.

Frazier sued the city in November, claiming she lost her job because she is black and that her reputation has been hurt. The case is pending in federal court, and she is seeking $3 million in damages.

City officials deny Frazier was targeted for any reason, or that she was forced to resign.


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