Federal Judge Found LAPD Not Guilty of Racial Discrimination in Civil Lawsuit

September 19, 2000

Los Angeles: On Wednesday, February 10, 1999, Los Angeles Police Department Lieutenant Kevin H. Williams filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and Chief Bernard C. Parks. In the suit, Williams alleged that the Los Angeles Police Department and Chief Parks intentionally discriminated and retaliated against him and refused to promote him to the rank of Captain because he suffers from pseudo-folliculitis-barbae ("PFB"), which prevents him from shaving his beard. In addition, Lieutenant Williams charged that the Chief of Police and other high-ranking African-American LAPD Command Staff, retaliated against him and created a hostile work environment through its disciplinary system.

On August 24, 2000, a Federal District Court granted a motion by the City of Los Angeles for Summary Judgment dismissing the lawsuit. The judge agreed with the City’s position that Williams had not raised an issue of fact which showed that the Department had discriminated against or retaliated against Lieutenant Williams or in any way created a hostile work environment through the Department’s disciplinary system. In addition, the District Court opined that the facts did not support Lieutenant Williams’ claim that he had been denied a promotion, to the rank of Captain, on the basis of his race and/or because he suffers from PFB and wore a beard.

The Los Angeles Police Department remains committed to the very highest standards of integrity and diversity in the workplace. In addition, the Department remains committed to its disciplinary system and rooting out discrimination and all other forms of misconduct among its rank.

This press release is an update to two newspaper articles that appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News on February 11, 1999, regarding Lieutenant Williams’ lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department.

For more information, please contact the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

This press release was prepared by Officer Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section.