A jury Tuesday ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay $1.2 million to a black police officer who alleged he was the butt of vulgar racial harassment by a white supervisor and other officers.
In his lawsuit, Earl Wright, who joined the department in 1989, accused the supervisor, Sgt. Peter Foster, and a handful of officers of carrying out racial pranks and making comments that left him “embarrassed and humiliated.”
Think of how long and hard you would have to work to earn $1.2 million. The oppression suffered by Wright must have been truly awful, even if it took him awhile to decide to be offended. The horrors he endured:
In one instance, the lawsuit claimed, Wright asked Foster for permission to leave work early and Foster, who is white, responded, “Why? You gotta go pick watermelons?”
In another incident, Foster summoned Wright and his partner back in to the station from the field to celebrate Wright’s 20th year of service as an LAPD officer. With officers laughing and applauding, the lawsuit claimed, Foster then presented Wright with a cake that was topped with a piece of fried chicken and a slice of watermelon.
In the Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn describes some of the torments inflicted on “Enemies of the People” who were arrested more or less randomly in the Soviet Union, for the purpose of extracting nonsensical confessions. These include having their backs flayed and then basted with turpentine, having their genitals slowly crushed, being suspended by their moustaches, being frozen, being starved, being beaten unconscious day after day — but no victim of communism was ever served cake topped with fried chicken and watermelon.
Yet at the time, Wright didn’t seem to mind:
Officer Randall McCain, who is black, testified that it was he, not Foster, who bought and presented the cake to Wright.
In an interview, McCain reiterated what he said at the trial — that Wright laughed when he saw the cake, cut himself a slice, and ate the chicken topping.
He and Wright, McCain said, were part of a group of officers at Central Division who routinely traded crude racial text messages and comments.
“I have known Earl Wright for 15, 16 years; we worked together for the past five. And Earl Wright has joked, pulled pranks and talked about other races in a joking way just like the rest of us,” McCain said. “Everything this guy is claiming was done to him, he did himself. He lied about the way he was feeling.”
Some people will do that when offered a fortune to pretend their feelings were hurt back in the day.
The payoff needn’t have been so extravagant. It was actually a shakedown operation gone wrong — but not wrong for Wright.
With Wright, [his lawyer Greg] Smith said, lawyers for the city offered only $10,000 to settle the claims. Smith said he responded by telling city lawyers that his client would drop his lawsuit for $400,000, but was rebuffed.
The next absurd harassment claim will be settled generously and with alacrity.
As fallout, McCain has been suspended and Foster apparently has been fired. Maybe Wright could hire them on as butlers or chauffeurs.
Those of less fortunate pigmentation who would like a ride on the gravy train will be relieved to hear that you don’t have to be black:
Wright’s verdict is the second seven-figure payout for the city in as many weeks. Last week, the City Council voted to approve a $1.25-million settlement with two lesbian officers who claimed they had been subjected to sexual harassment by their supervisor.
When the moonbats running California can no longer raise taxes any higher without completely collapsing the economy, the rest of the country will step in to foot the bill for the never-ending looting spree.
On a tip from Wiggins.