ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis city police officer is suing the department and three supervisors, claiming he was sexually harassed and later retaliated against after he complained.
Kyle Brewer’s lawsuit, filed Wednesday, names a police captain and two sergeants in addition to the department.
Brewer said in the lawsuit that he was subjected to “severe and pervasive” harassment since January, roughly five months after being assigned to a detective bureau, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1MxCzsU ) reported. The lawsuit claims that some of the harassment insinuated that Brewer is gay, with one of the defendants once telling Brewer’s girlfriend by telephone that Brewer had been fired for a sex act with a man.
Brewer’s attorneys say he is not homosexual, but rather doesn’t fit the district’s culture of former military personnel.
When members of the “good ol’ boys club” decide “they don’t like somebody … they do so with no restraint,” one of Brewer’s lawyers, John Eccher, told the newspaper.
A spokeswoman for the city declined to comment about the lawsuit.
That lawsuit argued that the department should have been aware that one of the defendants had previously acted adversely to other employees. Brewer’s lawyers pointed to a March 2014 jury award of $7.5 million to a former officer who claimed harassment and retaliation. A judge later reduced the amount to about $3.1 million, and lawyers for state attorneys representing the police board are appealing.
According to the lawsuit, Brewer joined the force in 2003, was transferred to the district in August 2014 and then was harassed “on a nearly constant basis” beginning in January. Brewer later complained to another captain, the human resources department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the lawsuit alleged.
The suit seeks more than $25,000 for creating a hostile work environment and taking employment actions against Brewer and for retaliation that included not assigning him cases and denying him time off.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com
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