Judge Reverses Verdict in Favor of City of Long Beach in Case Alleging Race Discrimination

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge reversed a jury’s judgement today in favor of the City of Long Beach, in a case alleging the city discriminated against a city employee.

The plaintiff, Damien Massey, had alleged he was unable to complete his probationary employment as a probation dispatcher in Long Beach's emergency communications center because the city racially discriminated against him.

According to a release issued by the Long Beach City Attorney’s Office, the judge found that the “Plaintiff had actually failed to present any evidence from which the jury could [conclude] that the City’s actions were not in good faith,” or that they were motivated by the plaintiff’s race.

“During the two week trial, the evidence showed that Massey was unable to complete all of the tasks required of a police dispatcher handling emergency calls, despite being given [additional] time to complete his probationary period, and despite given a variety of trainers,” an email sent by Assistant City Attorney Monte H. Machit stated.

The email outlined the judge’s initial decision to allow the case to go to a jury, which awarded Massey $700,000. However, the judge reversed said ruling today on the basis of a failure of Massey to provide evidence of discrimination.



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