Both sides rest case in Lanier discrimination trial - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Both sides rest case in Lanier discrimination trial

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D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier
WASHINGTON -

The defense for D.C. Police Chief Lanier and the District of Columbia rested its case Thursday in the discrimination lawsuit in federal court.

Commander Evelyn Primas accused Chief Lanier of discrimination when she forced her to be demoted two ranks or retire, then replaced her with a white man.

Lanier was in court to testify again, then left the court when her deputies were called as witnesses by the defense.

Primas was also recalled to the witness chair. I caught up with her outside the courthouse. She was unable to speak to me because of the gag order that Judge Richard Leon has put on this case. Primas’ lawyer, Ted Williams, said that, "She cannot comment … We are not allowed to talk about the case at this stage. Until a verdict is reached one way or another, we are declining to speak to anyone."

When the trial started on Monday, the judge said he expected the jury to get the case on Wednesday. But it has gone on for much longer because both sides fight over every word that is uttered in court.

About half of every day is spent with the lawyers at the bench with the judge – while the jury, witness and those of us in the viewing seats are left twiddling our thumbs since we are not allowed to use phones in the courtroom.

We also can’t hear anything because a white noise is pumped through the courtroom during the legal wrangling. The white noise sound makes many of us sleepy, but the U.S. Marshals will tap you on the head if you slump over in the hard bench.

On Friday, each side will get one hour for closing arguments. Then the jury will get the case and deliberate over whether Chief Lanier discriminated against Cmdr. Primas when she reorganized the Metropolitan Police Department.


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