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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Oakland Force Ducks Suit Over Cop’s Reputation

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from a homicide detective who said the Oakland Police Department destroyed his reputation by claiming he interfered with an investigation of "Your Black Muslim Bakery" and its alleged connection to the 2007 killing of an Oakland Post reporter.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White granted summary judgment to Oakland and two of its police officers.

Sgt. Derwin Longmire claimed the department launched a biased probe of him after he was accused of beating a confession out of a murder suspect and compromising the department's investigation of the killing of Chauncey Bailey.

Bailey was shot to death in Oakland on Aug. 2, 2007. Longmire says he was on call at the time and was assigned to the case. He claimed he "was successful in obtaining the confession" of Devaundre Broussard, but that Broussard then "falsely accused Longmire of beating a confession out of him."

That led to an Internal Affairs investigation, which Longmire said was unfair. He sued the city, Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan and police Lt. Sean Whent.

Longmire, who is black, claimed the department targeted him "because of his race and perceived association with the Black Muslim Bakery."

He said he received a 20-day suspension because he refused to sign a release pledging not to sue the city after coming back from administrative leave.

But Judge White wrote: "The undisputed facts in the record demonstrate that plaintiff did indeed have an affiliation with the bakery, both by patronizing the business and by maintaining personal relationships with its members. ... The initiation of the investigation was in accordance with proper police procedure based on the undisputed knowledge that Plaintiff did in fact have ties with the possible homicide suspect. ... There is nothing in the record to dispute the city's legitimate reasons for subjecting plaintiff to an investigation and paid administrative leave pending its outcome." [Ellipses mark citations to the record.]

White found that Longmire could not prove that he was discriminated against on the basis of race or retaliated against for any protected activity.

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