Saturday, December 29, 2007
From The Los Angeles Times…
Black firefighter awarded $1.17 million
Carter Stephens says harassment complaints to superiors in the Pasadena department only led to retaliation.
By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
A jury awarded $1.17 million Friday to a black former Pasadena firefighter who said he was forced to retire after complaining for five years about other firefighters leaving blood, urine and feces in his bedding and scrawling a swastika on his equipment.
The penalty was just the latest case of a black firefighter alleging discrimination against a fire department in Los Angeles and surrounding communities.
According to Carter Stephens’ suit, supervisors and co-workers also put mucus on his uniform and a captain referred to him by the “N” word.
Stephens, 55, said he felt vindicated after enduring racially-motivated attacks for five years.
“The general thought was, ‘You just have go ahead and take a beating. Maybe it’ll stop,’” he said. “That’s what I tried to do. But it wouldn’t stop.”
[To read the full story, click here.]