Gay MPD officer sues Memphis over discrimination - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gay MPD officer sues Memphis over discrimination

Davin Clemons (Source: WMC Action News 5) Davin Clemons (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A Memphis police officer is suing Memphis Police Department for discrimination.

TACT Officer Davin Clemons, who has worked with the department since 2002, said since he accepted the position of LGBTQ liaison to MPD, he has been subjected to harassment, humiliation, and verbal abuse. Clemons said he is also subjected to different work standards than other officers.

"I am proud to be a Memphis police officer," Clemons said. "I do, however, want to be treated fairly on the job."

The lawsuit also alleges that he was not paid any additional wages for his work as the LGBTQ liaison.

CLICK HERE: To view the entire lawsuit

Clemons said the actions of Memphis Police Department and its members violate his rights guaranteed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"I believe all city employees should be treated fairly based on the quality of work and not on their sexual orientation," Clemons said.

His lawsuit claims even Lieutenants on the force have harassed and targeted him because of his homosexual lifestyle. 

"You can't do that," attorney Maureen Holland said. "You can't treat people differently because they're gay."

Holland is Clemons' attorney. He said the department's actions are unacceptable.

Clemons said he was openly ridiculed after his engagement to another gay police officer.

"A couple of the lieutenants at the police station got together with a group and watched the video at the police station and started making comments and laughing about it," Holland said.

Clemons also believes he has been discriminated against because of his religion (Clemons is an ordained elder at Cathedral of Praise Church in Memphis, Tennessee) and because of his disability, which prevents him from staying clean shaven.

"He's not able to shave closely--and this has been known that he has this shaving profile--so he doesn't have to shave closely," Holland said. "All of a sudden, that's not good enough."

According to the lawsuit, Clemons has been suspended twice and even fired once. He was rehired after a previous lawsuit.

He said all he wants to do is serve the citizens of Memphis.

"I want to continue my career as a police officer without any interruption or discrimination," Clemons said.

The City of Memphis and MPD said they could not comment on pending legal matters.

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