A black Los Angeles policeman sued the city this week, alleging he was retaliated against after complaining that a white colleague pulled him over and detained him twice despite being shown identification, saying he needed to verify the plaintiff’s employment because gang members are known to impersonate LAPD officers. Lamark Ferguson’s Los Angeles Superior Court complaint seeks unspecified damages. An LAPD spokeswoman declined to comment on the complaint.
The suit states that Ferguson was hired by the LAPD in 2009 and was driving while off-duty in South Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 2014, when he was ordered to stop by a uniformed colleague about two blocks away from some property the plaintiff owned and wanted to inspect. Ferguson says he told the officer that he also was with the LAPD and showed him his driver’s license and department identification card. He also says he had his uniform and badge in the car’s back seat.
“The officer told plaintiff that he needed to verify plaintiff’s employment because `the (gang members) down here are known to impersonate LAPD,”’ the complaint alleges.
The officer allowed Ferguson to leave after 20 minutes. However, after Ferguson pulled into the driveway of his property, the same officer detained him for another 20 minutes while again insisting he needed to verify the plaintiff’s employment, the suit states. During the stop, Ferguson contacted his supervisor at the Hollywood Division and said he was being harassed because he is black, according to his court papers. A month after the two stops, Ferguson filed a personnel complaint against the officer who detained him.
The LAPD retaliated by assigning him temporarily to another division, where he was assigned to administrative traffic duties, the suit alleges.