Jury: Chief Lanier cleared in discrimination lawsuit - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Jury: Chief Lanier cleared in discrimination lawsuit

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A jury decided Friday afternoon that the District of Columbia and Police Chief Cathy Lanier did not discriminate against Evelyn Primas -- a black woman -- when giving her the chance to retire or be demoted two ranks.

It took the jury only one hour to say that the city and Chief Lanier did not discriminate on race or gender against Primas.

In closing arguments, the defense said that Chief Lanier's decisions in 2007 to reorganize the department had nothing to do with race or gender.

The government lawyer said, "Just because it's not fair and you don't like it doesn't mean it's discrimination."

"I'm not pleased with the verdict,” said Primas. “I was reminded by friend as this was going on and as I said in my testimony -- I'm old school -- that you can't fight City Hall. But I really believe that I had to stand up and bring forth the matter because I truly was discriminated against.”

"What I found out is that Chief Lanier runs this whole police department as though it's a plantation,” said Ted Williams, the attorney for Primas. “There have been numerous black police officers who have called me and said that they wanted to come down here for this case, but that out of fear and intimidation, they could not come down and support Commander Primas."

Primas told us those officers fear retaliation from Chief Lanier.

Ted Williams told us that there are several grounds for appeal in this case so it most likely will continue.  On Monday, Primas' attorneys announced they are indeed appealing the ruling.

Chief Lanier was not in court on Friday. I called her office for comment. Her spokeswoman said that the attorney general’s office will release a statement on the verdict on Monday.

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