MA Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Rejects Racism Claims Against Lawrence Police

The below article published in The Valley Patriot describes a recent RJA success in a MCAD lawsuit.  A Lawrence police officer brought a discrimination complaint against the City of Lawrence and eight police supervisors, alleging that he was the victim of years of mistreatment based upon his ethnicity.  Andrew Gambaccini of RJA represented the eight police supervisors and, in an eighty-five page response to the complaint of discrimination, explained why each and every one of the allegations made by the complainant were without any merit whatsoever.  In a decision issued in April, 2017, the MCAD agreed, dismissing the complaint in its entirety and bringing vindication for each of the police supervisors.

By: Tom Duggan | The Valley Patriot

 Defendants in Discrimination Case Say They May Be Filing a Defamation Suit Against Fellow Officer

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) has ruled in favor of Lawrence Police in a discrimination suit filed by embattled Lawrence Police Officer William Green.

Green accused the Lawrence Police Department, and in particular Superior Officers of racism and discrimination against him. Green is Black.

Green alleged that he was being treated differently than white officers when he was disciplined for, among other things; allowing a prisoner to escape, failing to turn in approximately $4,000 he had been paid in cash from doing private detail work at nightclubs, going outside the chain of command, and accessing the  database to obtain personnel information about another officer’s sick time.  

The MCAD not only found that Green’s allegations of racism were unfounded against superior officers of the Lawrence Police, they disputed point-for-point, each of his charges of racism and discrimination as false.

READ FULL RULING HERE 

President of the Lawrence Police Superior Officers Union, Captain Captain Scott McNamara, told The Valley Patriot  that he was happy the matter has come to a close, and that he and his fellow officers were vindicated by the Commission’s findings that no discrimination or racism took place.

“This has been a long awaited vindication of our members on baseless claims and outright lies. As you can imagine we as police officers value our reputation in the community. These officers have dedicated their professional lives to the police department and the people of this city. There are very few things worse than being labeled a racist or someone who engages in discriminatory practices. Certainly we are pleased with this outcome.”

McNamara says that he and the other officers accused of racism are exploring legal options and may sue Officer Green for defamation.

Asked what he thought about the public pronouncements by Officer Green at city council meetings and on his Facebook page that the Lawrence Police are “racist” McNamara did not hesitate to answer.

“Frankly, his opinion means little to our members,” he said.

“His disciplinary record speaks for itself and his lack of integrity and trustworthiness is a matter of public record.  We can’t help but acknowledge that social media has given him a platform, a platform that he has perverted to stoke the flames of racial animus in our City for his own personal and political gain.

“To be honest, it’s particularly disheartening when we see others buying into it. Our relationship with the community we serve means everything to us, so when we see others adopting his positions whether they are aspiring Mayors, radio personalities, or average every day citizens it is most certainly discouraging.”

“Unlike William Green, we simply do not have the time nor the inclination to spend our days making YouTube videos. The fact of the matter is, the rest  of us are busy facing the very real challenge of policing the City of Lawrence.”

“This department has come a long way under Chief’s Fitzpatrick’s leadership.  Despite our recent challenges, crime in general has decreased significantly and statistics that reflect good quality proactive police work are through the roof. It is important to note, despite William Green’s claims, this progress has occurred during a time in which we have adopted a department-wide ‘community engagement philosophy’ and our own workforce has become considerably more diverse.”

“We are exploring all of our legal options including filing multiple defamation claims against William Green.”

Each charge of racism by Mr. Green was, line for line, were completely refuted by the MCAD as false. The acts we took were reasonable actions against an non-performing employee. He wants people to think its because he’s Black, but nothing could be further from the truth.”

PRIOR CLAIMS

McNamara says MCAD represents the third independent entity that has disputed William Green’s claims over last three years.

“The first was an investigation by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office. They were tasked with investigating his claims that a Lawrence Police Sergeant conducted an unlawful search of his premises and claimed that he was the victim of an armed assault at the hands of another police officer. Those findings were proven to be baseless and directly contradicted by video evidence.”

The Valley Patriot has requested the video.

“In another allegation by Officer Green, he claimed a hostile work environment for black officers, particularly himself, and an independent investigator found no evidence to support those claims.”

McNamara said that he wanted to thank the assistant City Attorney Raquel Ruano, and the other attorneys on the case, particularly Andrew Gambaccini.

William Green did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

The Valley Patriot has submitted a public records request for the total legal and administrative costs to the City of Lawrence for all of Green’s unfounded accusations.