South Bend cop sues city over alleged discrimination in police department hiring, promotions

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A minority South Bend Police officer is suing the city after he says he was passed over for promotions that were given to less qualified officers because of his race.

Sgt. Nathan Cannon, who has been with the South Bend Police Department for more than 30 years, was granted the right to sue after he filed a complaint in 2014 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, WNDU reported.

The lawsuit specifically mentions the promotions of three non-minority officers in 2014, including one whom was promoted to lead a newly created Gang Violence Intervention Unit. Cannon said in the lawsuit that he had more seniority and “vastly superior experience in gang violence intervention” than the officer who was appointed to that position.

Cannon also said in the lawsuit that he was denied opportunities after complaining about the department’s hiring and promoting practices.

The city of South Bend, South Bend Police Department, former chief Ron Teachman and present chief Scott Ruszkowski were each named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Cannon is asking the court to punish the South Bend Police Department leaders he says are guilty of discrimination and to ensure that the department complies with equal employment opportunity laws. He is also seeking a retroactive promotion to the rank of lieutenant and lost compensation.

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