Police Sergeant Called Out Sexual Harassment, Homophobia and Racism in Law Enforcement – Guess Who Got Fired?

Former Fresno police sergeant files a civil complaint alleging sexual harassment and wrongful termination, citing incidents of inappropriate behavior and harassment within the department.

An Established Officer

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According to the lawsuit filed on July 6, Szatmari joined the Fresno Police Department in 2003 and was promoted to sergeant of the K-9 and mounted patrol unit in September 2020. 

Harassment Within the Department

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The lawsuit, prepared by West Coast Employment Lawyers, highlights incidents of harassment and inappropriate behavior within the department.

The Harassment Started After Her Promotion

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Shortly after her promotion, a group text thread circulated a picture of a Thanksgiving turkey with a phallic overlay and a suggestive message. 

They Told Her They Operated Under ‘Vegas Rules’

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The complaint also alleges that Szatmari was informed by Lieutenant Jordan Beckford that the K-9 unit operated under “Vegas rules,” implying a code of secrecy. Lieutenant Bill Dooley allegedly echoed this sentiment. 

Texts and Pictures Added to the Toxicity

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The text thread included other sophomoric images and discussions, contributing to Szatmari’s discomfort.

Inappropriate Behavior

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In December 2020, the all-male unit discussed a blow-up doll for a Christmas party, despite Szatmari’s request for them to stop.

Including Her Sister in Their Vile Comments

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On another occasion, an officer commented inappropriately about Szatmari’s sister. 

Trying to Address the Behavior

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In February 2021, Szatmari addressed the inappropriate behavior and demanded it cease during a meeting with officers in her unit.

A Secret Group Chat Within the Force

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The lawsuit further reveals that seven officers on a K-9-related trip engaged in a separate text group filled with homophobic and racist content, including explicit images and insinuations about Szatmari.

False Rumors Started Circulating 

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Following a work trip, false rumors were circulated about her conduct, resulting in her removal from duty and placement on leave.

The Complaint Led to Her Termination

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The lawsuit alleges that officers filed a baseless complaint to Internal Affairs, leading to administrative leave and her eventual termination in December 2022.

The Attacks Started to Take a Toll on Her

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The experiences described in the lawsuit took a toll on Szatmari’s mental well-being, causing panic attacks and anxiety. 

She Was Excluded From the Department

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She expressed her disappointment, feeling excluded from the department’s inner circle due to maintaining her integrity.

She’s Seeking Compensation Now

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Szatmari’s lawsuit seeks compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, attorney fees, and additional damages.

The Case Will Soon Be Heard

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The case is scheduled for a case management hearing on October 31. The Fresno Police Department declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

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The post Police Sergeant Called Out Sexual Harassment, Homophobia and Racism in Law Enforcement – Guess Who Got Fired? first appeared on Wealthy Living.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Motortion Films. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Fresnobee

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