Discrimination case filed by Charlottesville’s first black female police chief thrown out

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RaShall Brackney was chosen to revive the Charlottesville Police Department after the deadly Unite the Right demonstration in 2017, where white supremacists and other far-right groups protested violently.

A judge has dismissed a discrimination suit brought against the city by Charlottesville’s first black female police chief, a police union representative and nine local officials.

According to The Washington Post, RaShall Brackney, who claimed her 2021 firing was motivated by discrimination and her efforts to reform the Charlottesville police department, was not shocked by U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon’s decision to dismiss her $10 million lawsuit. to reject.

“It would be disingenuous to say I’m disappointed with the judge’s decision — this is Charlottesville — I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Brackney said in a statement, The Post reported. “Our team understands the racial politics of police reform and anti-blackness in the US, and particularly its impact on every institution, including the courts.”

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A federal judge has dismissed a $10 million lawsuit brought by RaShall Brackney, Charlottesville’s first black female police chief. Brackney, who was fired in 2021, cited racial and gender bias in her lawsuit against the city and others. (Photo: Charlottesville Police Department)

Brackney was chosen to oversee the department after the deadly 2017 Unite the Right demonstration in central Virginia, where white supremacists and other far-right groups protested violently. The Charlottesville Police Department’s approach was harshly criticized, with many in the city losing trust in the authorities.

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In her lawsuit, Brackney claimed she was forced from her position after disbanding and firing several members of the SWAT team. During an internal police investigation, officials found members used racial slurs, distributed obscene videos, and threatened other officers with agency-issued phones.

Charlottesville officials claimed to have supported Brackney’s actions against the SWAT team, but insisted there were moral problems on the part of the police. The chief reportedly had a tense relationship with some city staffers, and top officers considered quitting if she remained in the position of chief.

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Moon concluded that Brackney had not provided enough evidence to support her claims that her firing violated the state’s whistleblowing statute. He determined that the former chief had also failed to provide enough evidence to support her claims of racial and gender bias or defamation by city officials.

In a statement, city attorney David Corrigan expressed satisfaction with the judge’s decision.

“The city of Charlottesville and the individual defendants charged by former police chief RaShall Brackney are pleased with the court’s well-reasoned decision to dismiss all claims,” he noted, according to The Post.

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