Jury Awards Ohio Police Lieutenant $2 After She Sued City of Columbus for Racial Discrimination and Retaliation

Columbus police Lt. Melissa McFadden

A federal jury has awarded Columbus police Lt. Melissa McFadden $2 for being the subject of racial discrimination and retaliation by the Division of Police following a trial nearly four years in the making.

McFadden, who is Black, had filed a civil rights lawsuit in June 2018 against the city of Columbus. The trial began on June 6 and lasted four days, ending with the jury’s verdict on Monday afternoon.

The jury awarded McFadden $2 in their judgment, according to court records.

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“It was more about the principle than money,” John Marshall, one of McFadden’s attorneys, told The Dispatch. McFadden is pleased with the verdict, he said, adding, “She feels like really she won.”

Marshall said McFadden plans to ask U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus to order the city to pay McFadden’s legal fees and for other measures.

Marshall said those measures will include a request to have McFadden’s division personnel file expunged and that prior disciplinary measures be unable to be used against her in the future, should any disciplinary issues arise.

In addition, McFadden will be asking the judge to order the Division of Police to issue “a communication to all CDP officers that the discrimination and retaliation are regretted and CDP looks forward to many more years of Lt. McFadden’s contribution to its mission,” Marshall said.

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SOURCE: The Columbus Dispatch, Bethany Bruner

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