A Black officer is suing the Darien, Georgia police department for racial discrimination, insisting that he was fired for dating a white woman, who was also a fellow officer.
According to WSBTV, Karone Robinson’s life seemed to be going so well before he went public with his relationship with his colleague. Having always wanted to be a drug cop, he took the chance he got in Darien and moved up the ranks quickly, becoming a full-time drug investigator.
Everything changed the day the department became aware of his relationship with the white female officer, however.
“It was one day I’m the best thing since sliced bread, and the next day I can’t walk and chew bubble gum. I can’t do anything right,” Robinson told the news station.
Robinson acknowledged that no one every directly questioned as to why he was dating a white woman, but there were other signs of racism within the office that he overlooked, such as the Nazi flag that hung for years within the Department.
“I totally blocked the flag out. It had been there for so long,” he said.
It was hard though to ignore the issues that allegedly came up surrounding his girlfriend.
Robinson said he was suspended for going to Atlanta with his girlfriend in his police car, although the chief typically allowed officers to use their patrol cars even while off-duty. He was then suspended again for working with the Sheriff’s Office.
Eventually, the chief demoted Robinson to a patrol officer, which sent him in a downward spiral.
“I’d go home. I’d cry. I’d be mad. I’d be depressed,” he said.
The saga continued when a lieutenant informed Robinson that he and his girlfriend couldn’t work off-duty security at a popular restaurant because the staff no longer felt comfortable around the couple.
“Immediately I know what it is. I mean the chief’s wife works there,” Robinson said.
Robinson accused the police chief of creating a paper trail to have a reason to fire him, and ultimately did so because he failed to notify dispatch at the start and end of his shift – something that his attorney Katie Mitchell claimed that no one had even heard of before.
“Each of the witnesses that were deposed, there was not a single officer whether a party for the Darien Police Department or from another agency that had ever even heard of another officer’s being terminated for policy infractions such as failing to notify dispatch,” Mitchell said.