Shot in the Dark

DISD security officer files lawsuit claiming discrimination

The first part of the district's argument could be true, but since McKinney didn't drop his food it's impossible to say. McKinney says he doubts dropping his food would have done anything because the dog acted hostile toward him when he was on his way out to get food, too.

The second part of the district's argument is true, he says. He did not have the proper permission to work an off-duty job, but that's only because while he regularly submitted the forms seeking formal department approval, the forms were hardly ever returned to him or fellow black officers, McKinney alleges. Identical requests for off-duty work were routinely signed and returned to the white and Hispanic officers, he says.

The department's discriminatory practices put him in the position of being at the off-duty job without a signed permission form. Then, district officials used the lack of a signed form to justify his demotion. Solely because he is African-American, he was set up to violate department policies that were being violated because of the department itself, he claims.

"I've been here almost 12 years," McKinney says. "He just got here. I'm not going to let him run me out of my job. I'm having to swallow my pride. I've never had to swallow my pride before in my life. If you've never had to swallow your pride, trust me, it's hard."

McKinney says he wants the district to pay him $5 million for such things as loss of wages and mental anguish.

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