FOX 28 Special Investigation: Police discrimination lawsuit
A lawsuit alleges that the Darien Police Department fired a narcotics investigator for being in an interracial relationship with a white female officer.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Korone Robinson, names the City of Darien, the police department, the chief, Robinson’s former boss and a former colleague.
But the city says race had nothing to do it with it and his firing was all about his poor job performance.
In a letter sent to Robinson after he was fired in August 2016, the city points out 17 times where Robinson failed to notify dispatch where he was in his patrol car. Officials also reference a physical altercation which Robinson was called to two months before his firing.
Police wrote up Robinson after he told dispatch he wasn't allowed inside B+J's restaurant to deal with the altercation.
Robinson's attorney Katie Mitchell says the reason Robinson did this was because earlier in the year, he had been told he and his girlfriend, former narcotics investigator Stacy Miller, were banned from eating at the restaurant. It was a place they frequented, until they went public with their relationship.
Mitchell says because Robinson is black and Miller is white, it made some employees at the restaurant uncomfortable.
Mitchell tells FOX 28 that terminating Robinson for this incident was "looking for something to put on paper to try and hide the fact that this all stems because he started an interracial relationship."
Both Robinson and Miller were involved while they were both on the force from 2012-2016. Miller resigned in September of 2016, the month after Robinson was fired.
Mitchell says the environment at the Darien Police Department was not welcoming to Robinson nor to Miller the moment they disclosed they were in a relationship.
She says their superiors made up rules specifically for the two of them, including not allowing the two to travel in a police car together. Robinson and Miller often did their work in tandem before disclosing their relationship, according to Mitchell.
"There is no policy that is actually tied to city employees whether they are in the police department or the water department riding or carpooling in their city vehicles," Mitchell said. "It was a rule created specifically for not allowing Officer Robinson and his white girlfriend to be seen in a car together,"
The City of Darien's city manager told FOX 28 they had "no comment". After several attempts to reach defense attorney Richard Strickland, FOX 28 got a reply back saying he would agree to an interview if it were done live. FOX 28 did not agree to these requests, since not all parties were offered this opportunity.