Thursday, September 1, 2016

Former deputy accuses Madison Sheriff's Office of racism in lawsuit.

A former Madison County deputy sued the Madison County Sheriff's Office for alleged racial discrimination in U.S. District Court on August 15.  Robert Gibson accuses Sheriff Randy Tucker of firing him after he complained about race discrimination towards employees and suspects.  Sheriff Tucker has not yet filed a response in the case.

Mr. Gibson began working as a Madison County Deputy in February 2011 and is a former Marine.   His employment was terminated two years later.  He applied twice for a promotion to the position of investigator but was denied.  Gibson complains in his complaint that the notice of the job opening asked deputies to state their law enforcement experience and how long they had been employed at MCSO but it did not state that such information was part of the criteria.  Gibson also complains that "work ethic and/or productivity" were not mentioned as requirements that "needed to be met in order to qualify for the position".  (So let me get this straight. He is complaining that experience, work ethic, and how well a deputy did his job were actually considered when determining promotions?)  The complaint argues that the process was subjective and no objective set of criteria were used to determine promotions. 
However, several white deputies were promoted to investigator.

The complaint also alleges that Mr. Gibson

discussed with Lieutenant Mark Sandridge (over the DUI unit) Plaintiff s concerns about racially discriminatory practices that affected both the employees and the community. Plaintiff complained  to Lt. Sandridge about white officers using excessive force and beating black individuals. Plaintiff also complained about the Department setting up roadblocks primarily in the minority neighborhoods. Around the time of Plaintiff's complaints, Plaintiff personally witnessed officers using excessive force and severely beating a suspect along Highway 55 while the suspect was still
in handcuffs.   Plaintiff  firmly opposed this mistreatment, and picked  up the individual thereafter put him in a police  cruiser.

38.  Further, Plaintiff was informed of other instances wherein excessive force was used upon black individuals.

39.  The above referenced  multiple instances of excessive force used upon black individuals were reasonably  believed  to  represent  discriminatory  terms and conditions of employment for officers working for the department, and which  Plaintiff  complained about. Even though the above conduct Plaintiff  complained  about also involved  third-parties and the community, it represented discriminatory terms and conditions of employment for Plaintiff and potentially other officers as well. Mr. Gibson reasonably believed he and other officers were being required to work in an environment containing discriminatory terms and conditions  insofar as it involved mistreatment of black individuals, and in so far as it  required officers  to work in circumstances involving, and  around,  the discriminatory mistreatment.  As  a  result,  he reasonably, and of good faith believed that the terms and conditions  of  employment  were iscriminatory  for himself  and  other employees  required  to work  in  the conditions.

40. Further, Plaintiff complained to Lt. Sandridge on the occasion referred to above, about what he reasonably perceived to be no black officers being in the investigations or DUI unit (reasonably referring to adult investigations unit (CID)). Plaintiff otherwise complained about black officers not being promoted to important positions of responsibility in SWAT and narcotics even though they were certified and otherwise qualified. Regardless of whether Defendant may now claim there were black officers in certain positions of responsibility, Plaintiff had a reasonable
and good faith belief that there was discriminatory mistreatment insofar as black officers were not substantially involved in certain positions and/or promoted to positions of responsibility including but potentially not limited to the above positions. He therefore complained. ....

44. After the above events in the prior paragraph, Plaintiff was brought into a meeting with
Chief Williams and Sheriff Tucker wherein Plaintiff was informed during the brief communication by
Chief Williams that it was understood Plaintiff was not happy at the Sheriff s Department, and was
therefore given the option of resignation or to be terminated. Plaintiff was given no reasonable choice and/or option under the circumstances. Plaintiff declined resignation and was issued a letter terminating him.

45. Defendant alleged to Plaintiff that he was being terminated because Defendant believed he
was unhappy working for the Department.....
Gibson states that he never received any disciplinary action or reprimands prior to his termination. He also accuses the Sheriff of lying to the EEOC as well.   Gibson is represented by attorneys Winston Thompson and Michael Brown.  The case was assigned to Judge Henry Wingate.

The EEOC is apparently getting involved in the case as well.  The EEOC stated in a January 25, 2016 letter that was sent to both parties

Charging Party alleged that he was denied a promotion as a criminal investigator and was later
discharged from his deputy's position because of his race (black) and in retaliation for voicing
opposition that black deputies are not being promoted to the investigations and DUI units.
Charging Party also alleged that a white employee promoted over him was less qualified and not

I have determined that the evidence obtained in the investigation established reasonable cause.
believe that Charging Party was discriminated against in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil
Rights Act, as amended. Creditable evidence disclosed that the Respondent's promotional policy and
practices were not uniformly applied to both races and were subjective at best. The evidence also
showed that shortly after Charging Party's protest; he was singled out for criticism and

This determination does not conclude the processing of this charge. EEOC will begin conciliation
efforts to resolve all mutters where there is reason to believe that violations have occurred.
When the Commission finds that violations have occurred, it attempts to eliminate unlawful practices
by informal methods of conciliation. Therefore, I invite the parties to join with the Commission in
reaching a just resolution of this matter. .....


Anonymous said...

You must not know your position. "Boy", we run 'dis county!
End sarcasm here.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Mr Gibson do anything when the person handcuffed was beaten by fellow deputies. Why now!! It's beyond my comprehension why Mr Gibson thinks he can fight the High Sheriff! His position was will and pleasure. I know about all this EEOC Bullshit and Lawsuits are far fetched for a win.

Mr Gibson consider this a growing experience in Law Enforcement. This ain't civil service or the Marine Corps!

Its will and pleasure. Campaign and Donate. That's how you move up!!! Again Mr Gibson, don't air the Departments dirty laundry when your are longer employed!!!

Anonymous said...

They forgot to include a claim for violation of 42 U.S.C.A. 1981 through 42 U.S.C.A. 1983 so their compensatory damages don't get capped like under Title VII.

Anonymous said...

Not qualified?
Not experienced?
Not a problem!
Just scream racial discrimination and file a frivolous law suit in federal court.
Get the EEOC involved.
In the end, you are still an "at will" employee and working at the will and pleasure of the sheriff.
So go ahead, howl and squeal racism. You are fired and that is NOT likely to change.

Anonymous said...

Cops do some of the most amazing things every day with little notice from the public...I know one very brave one who pulled a lady from her car in a flash flood....great guy....but the other side of the equation is that cops see too much of the same thing from the same people in the same areas of town. It jades them. It is hard not to formulate general opinions about people when they all act and behave contrary to public policy and law....and lots of times to the detriment of other citizens. That is labeled racism. Some label it "realism" which a healthy dose of saves their lives daily. Cops are put in the most difficult position....they are given the utmost respect and deference, expected to be perfect, expected not to be mean or evil, make perfect judgment calls, and to do all of this for very little pay. Its a wonder we have any left.

Anonymous said...

Glad you posted this - now maybe this form r deputy or his family member will quit commenting on every other post trying to get his complaint some publicity.

Anonymous said...

I was interested in this until I saw Winston Thompson was the attorney of record. The same Winston Thompson who got slammed with a default judgment in Madison County because, well, who knows?

One would think as an attorney you should make damn sure that you timely respond to complaint.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gibson. Go back to Hinds County and keep your ass there! I just made a donation to the Madison County sheriff.

For The Ahem Expert.. said...

For the EEOC expert who has posted multiple times: Will and Pleasure, actually at-will employment, often carries with it the phrase "May be terminated for any reason or no reason at all". What you might be leaving out of your expert opinion is the other part of that phrase. It goes: "As long as that reason is not illegal".

There are many questionable terminations, some of which have a solid basis for recovery when it can be show that a termination violates federal labor law. This applies to the high sheriff, at-will employment and people who think they are EEOC experts.

I have no clue whether the man's rights were violated and doubt you do either. That's why its in court, or will be.

Anonymous said...

Poor me...

I was a shitty deputy, troublemaker and didn't get promoted after only 2 years "on the road".

Give me 10 million right now so I can get a new Escalade and move into a big crib!!

These home boys are getting really good at suing.

Anonymous said...

@11:30 you speaketh the truth

Anonymous said...

The lawsuit doesn't surprise me. But then again neither do the allegations of excessive force.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he can get a job in Holmes county.

Anonymous said...

There is no 11:30. Please pay attention. All you lard asses in black and white cruisers who think you know federal labor law are in for a surprise. You need to stick to working wrecks at 51/Nissan Parkway.

Anonymous said...

Finally the good old boy system in Madison County will have it's day in court, I am sure they have nothing to hide.

Anonymous said...

@7:21 sounds like he/she doesn't like our MCSO. You are the type person who will complain about the deputies but will be the first one to call them when there is trouble!!!

7:21 BackAtcha.. said...

I'm 7:21 and am very proud of Madison County S.O. You misunderstood. Let me try again. The few I am not proud of are the several posting on here that they are experts on labor law and race relations and promotions. Those few need to be assigned permanent traffic control duty and writing up wreck reports.

Anonymous said...

This complaint was apparently obtained from the filing system before service. An amended complaint has been filed.

Anonymous said...

An amended complaint is relatively meaningless in content. Your point?

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