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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

City of Midland faces racial discrimination lawsuit

Police Chief Seth Herman and Former Lieutenant Kyle Sullivan are named as co-defendants

MIDLAND, Texas — A lawsuit was filed on January 26 by an attorney representing two former Midland Police Department employees alleging racial discrimination and violation of constitutional rights.

Since being filed, an issue of summons has been sent to the 3 co-defendants. 

They're listed as follows: 

  • City of Midland
  • Police Chief Seth Herman 
  • Former Police Lieutenant Kyle Sullivan

The plaintiffs in the filing are former Sergeant Demetrius Lee, and former parking enforcement officer Robb Wilson.

The suit demands a trial by jury, and will be seeking actual damages (to be proven), exemplary damages, punitive damages, and a binding to keep defendants from further discrimination.

The document lists several causes of action

  • Racial discrimination and harassment
  • Retaliation to complaints made in good faith
  • Deprivation of constitutional rights

Each plaintiff alleges that those actions ended up in consequential effects.

For Lee, he claims discrimination and harassment led him to make a complaint to his supervisors, but alleges this ended up in retaliation.

His claim goes further to state that retaliation led to him being criminally charged for "abuse of official capacity."

In an affidavit, the city filed that the charge stemmed from Lee using computers to run criminal histories and driver's license records outside the scope of his job duties.

That charge would lead to Lee's suspension and resignation.

For Wilson, he alleges discrimination kept him from being hired as a police officer despite being qualified. He instead was hired as parking enforcement.

He also claims discrimination kept him from receiving promotion opportunities

He also claims he was then given tasks that were outside of his qualifications, and was then punished for not fulfilling those duties.

As of February no court date has been set.

We reached out to the City of Midland for comment, but they would not comment on any pending litigation.

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