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Forest Hills cop settles for $80K in city lawsuit

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A former Forest Hills-based police officer accepted a settlement of $80,000 last month from the city in a lawsuit alleging multiple incidents of discrimination.

Officer Sonya Glover, who is black and gay, filed the suit in February. In the nearly 50-page document, she contended that while with the 94th and 112th precincts, various members of the city’s law enforcement treated her inequitably because of her race, gender and sexual orientation.

Some of the suit’s claims were that Glover was disciplined for minor infractions that white male members of the force were not disciplined for; was assigned manual labor — including cleaning the men’s bathroom — not given to other women on the force; was not paid overtime or allowed to accumulate overtime whereas white men on the force were; faced institutional difficulties whenever she asked for time off; and was mocked and subjected to ethnic jokes and stereotyping. It also alleges NYPD officers sometimes deliberately lost or falsified internal documents to make her look bad.

Glover alleged much of the treatment she received from other members of the NYPD was retaliation for fighting against the discrimination, such as when she made complaints to the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and when she filed a claim of discrimination against the city with the Latino Officers Association City of New York.

Much of the suit centered around an event that occurred Feb. 12, 2008, when Glover played Scrabble with a friend, Shakia Jackson, at Jackson’s Queens apartment. The suit said that during the game, Glover teased Jackson, saying she was making up words, which upset Jackson.

Eric Sanders, Glover’s attorney with the firm Jeffrey Goldberg in Lake Success, N.Y., said Jackson’s 14-year-old son then called 911, saying his mother had been hurt. In response, members of the 110th Precinct came to the house, although the responding officers made no arrests and did not interview Glover about the incident.

Sanders said the police did not talk to Glover or another woman in the apartment, Cynthia Bell, because they assumed it was “a lesbian thing.”

After the incident, the suit alleged Jackson was forced to file a fake domestic violence incident report. Also around that time, the father of one of Jackson’s children made false child abuse allegations.

Sanders said because of these incidents, Glover was tried by the 112th Precinct, even though Jackson was interviewed five times and said there was no assault.

The suit also alleged that Glover was required to take eight weeks of domestic violence counseling, to report to the department’s Psychological Services and the Employee Relations Section for counseling. In addition, it maintained that various employees of the city investigating the issues used accepted false testimony and released documents incorrectly.

Sanders said the suit was settled before going to trial. He also said since the incident, Glover has been transferred to the 1st Precinct and placed on performance monitoring, even though there was no incident that required it. She is planning to bring another suit against the city for retaliation.

“They never stop,” Sanders said.

Defense for the city and various defendants in the suit did not return calls for this article.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 6:14 pm, October 10, 2011
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