Officers claim retaliation by HPD

March 7, 2012 11:56:21 AM PST
We are following new allegations against the Houston Police Department. Some officers say they were the victims of retaliation after they made discrimination claims against the department.

Discrimination complaints against employers are not uncommon, and HPD is a large employer. According to a group called the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, four retaliation complaints are said to be pending now.

The group held a news conference at Houston's City Hall Wednesday morning. Two former HPD officers were present to join with the coalition -- one who lost his fight over the department's facial hair policy and another who said he was fired because he complained he wasn't assigned overtime.

What's new is the coalition says they've launched a website for complaints by law enforcement officers who claim they're being discriminated against and for people who say they're being harassed by police.

Johnny Mata with the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice explained, "It will allow men and women in the law enforcement agencies, but as well the citizens that have allegations or complaints of deadly force, excessive force."

Both categories of complaints, the group says, will be forwarded to the Department of Justice for investigation.

The Houston Police Department issued the following response:

    "It is unfortunate these former employees continue to make such accusations. The Houston Police Department does not engage in discriminatory practices against its employees or the public. If HPD employees or members of the public believe they have been victims of discriminatory conduct by an HPD employee, they should immediately file a written complaint with our Internal Affairs Division so a formal investigation can be conducted."
    -- Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr.