Gay reserve police officer suing city of Memphis for alleged discrimination

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A police reserve officer who’s openly gay is suing the Memphis Police Department in a federal lawsuit.

Davin Clemons, a former active-duty officer, is a Memphian known for fighting discrimination, especially against the LGBTQ community. He’s being represented by attorney Maureen Holland, the Memphis attorney involved in the Supreme Court case legalizing same sex marriage.

“With respect to the LGBTQ community, this is a very important issue regarding employers,” Holland said.
         
She said Clemons is an 18-year employee of the City of Memphis and a TACT officer.

He’s had to resort to filing a lawsuit against the City of Memphis because his complaints of discrimination and retaliation were ignored, she said.

Clemons alleges MPD, especially through Lt. Col. Dennis McNeil, engaged in discrimination, harassment and retaliation against him based on his sexual orientation, his religion, and violations of Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Sadly and unfortunately, his work work environment became so intolerable that he left in November of last. He’s currently working for Shelby County and he has cause him tremendous stress and anxiety, damage to his reputation and that’s the kind of harm this lawsuit seeks to remedy,” Holland said.

WREG reached out to the city for a statement. The city responded by saying it does not comment on legal matters.


For now, Clemons and his attorney are hoping other employers will listen.

“Davin Clemons is doing this in part because he wants to ensure that other employees that are in the LGBTQ community have the equal treatment by the City of Memphis,” Holland said.

She said last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, and they hope the city of Memphis will follow that law.   

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