White Cop’s $2M Race Discrimination Verdict Thrown Out
A white police officer who won a $2 million reverse race discrimination lawsuit in October saw his fortunes reversed when a federal judge threw out the verdict, saying that the officer’s own misconduct on the job indicated he would have been fired anyway.
Chris Miller was a police officer for Ithaca, N.Y. filed a complaint in 2005 to the county human rights commission claiming he was passed over for promotion because of reverse race discrimination. The complaint was dismissed, but Miller filed again in 2008 and another complaint in 2009 alleging retaliation. He was fired in 2010.
He filed a lawsuit seeking $19 million for racial bias and retaliation. The city portrayed Miller as a problem employee who had several disciplinary issues including falsifying his job application.
A federal jury rejected his racial discrimination claims but agreed that the city fired him in retaliation for his complaints to the human rights commission.
But Judge Thomas J. McAvoy overturned the jury’s finding, erasing the $2 million in damages and ordering a new trial.
“Coupled with other instances of insubordination at the Ithaca Police Department, the falsification of documents (the DWI log), and a determination by the District Attorney that [Miller] no longer had any value as a prosecution witness, the Court finds that [Miller] engaged in sufficient misconduct such that [he] would have been issued a notice of termination regardless of any retaliatory motive,” the judge wrote in his decision.