Portland police captain files federal discrimination lawsuit
Portland Police Captain Derek Rodrigues is suing the city of Portland, claiming he was discriminated against because he is Latino.
Rodrigues formerly led the police bureau's Internal Affairs Division, which investigates complaints of officer misconduct. He was placed on leave in connection with then-Chief Larry O'Dea's accidental shooting of a friend in Harney County in April 2016. In his lawsuit, filed Monday, Aug. 6, in Oregon's U.S. District Court, he claims it was discriminatory that he was placed on leave for months and given a two-day unpaid suspension for failing to report to the city's civilian oversight office, Independent Police Review, that O'Dea informed him about the shooting. Noting that O'Dea had shared the info with his assistant chiefs as well, Rodrigues' suit notes that they did not report it, but faced no discipline.
Rodrigues' lawsuit also questions why he was suspended two days without pay for failing to report a comment that a coworker found offensive. According to the complaint, the comment was shared with him by a coworker, who is of Pacific Islander descent, over a "casual lunch." She said that the bureau diversity and equity manager, Elle Weatheroy, who is African-American, asked her "Why did you marry a white man?"
"Captain Rodrigues did not consider the statement made to him … to be a report of discrimination, nor would a reasonable person consider that to be the case," according to the complaint.
The lawsuit requests unspecified damages and attorney fees.
The city of Portland does not comment on pending litigation. No court date has been set for the lawsuit.