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Maryland State Police Face Lawsuit Claiming Racial Discrimination

A federal lass-action lawsuit against the Maryland's state law enforcement agency filed by three Maryland State Police (MSP) officers, alleges racial discrimination against officers of color. The suit claims the agency has a record of engaging in systematic discrimination, according to NPR. Matin Dunlap, Byron Tribue, and Analisse Diaz, the plaintiffs, are requesting compensation for loss of income and emotional distress. Tribue and Dunlap are current MSP troopers; Diaz was fired in 2019. "We look forward to litigating this case and making sure Officers of Color at the MSP are treated fairly and holding the MSP responsible for their actions," said attorney Michal Shinnar. "The officers in the Complaint, the other officers with claims at EEOC, and officers of color around the State of Maryland put their lives on the line, and in exchange simply want to be treated equally," she added.

In one incident, the troopers allege, a paper training dummy at an MSP shooting range was painted in blackface with an "Afro wig." In a different instance, Dunlap alleged a white officer placed a banana on his patrol car, which Dunlap argued was intended to be a racist reference towards him, as a Black man. The agency's Office of Fair Practice determined that the banana could not be "tied to racism or discrimination." The lawsuit said that employees of color across MSP were transferred to "less favorable and/or more dangerous assignments and shifts" and were often denied overtime opportunities and the accompanying pay. When officers spoke up about racial discrimination, the lawsuit alleges, officers of color faced retaliation.. The agency said it "remains committed to providing the highest quality of law enforcement services to the people of Maryland, while ensuring the fair and equitable treatment of all employees. Significant actions have been taken and are continuing to address even the perception of racism or unfair treatment of any kind."


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