Former Capitol Police Officer Files Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination

In Summary

A Black officer who resigned from the Capitol Police's K-9 unit has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the agency.  

A former Capitol Police officer has filed a lawsuit against the force’s K-9 unit, alleging it had a culture of discrimination.  

Former officer Sgt. Juan Cobbin, who led the training for the department’s K-9 unit, was the first Black officer to hold the position. In a lawsuit, he alleged, “unqualified white individuals” were sought for the role causing him to be removed, The Hill reported.  

RELATED: Bridgeport Police Accused of Racial Discrimination 

Cobbin alleged in the lawsuit that he was brought back into the role several times “to train those individuals or to help the K-9 Training Unit to recover due to their mismanagement.”  

RELATED: Black Officer Files Lawsuit Against Department for Discrimination, Alleges Retaliation After 

Cobbin, who was with the unit from 2013 to 2021, was allegedly removed from the role of the department lead because he lacked minimum qualifications, but the lawsuit alleges race. “The truth is that Sgt. Cobbin was removed from consideration because he is African American, and he had complained about discrimination in the K-9 Unit,” it said.  

He said in 2013, a group of white officers sent out a petition to keep him from leading the unit so that Sgt. Anthony Phelps, who is white, could lead the training department.  

RELATED: Group of Current and Former Black Women Cops Sue DC Police 

After seven years with the unit, Cobbin resigned in Oct. 2021. His resignation came after being removed as the unit’s leader, where he was then replaced by a white officer.  

This is not the first discrimination lawsuit the department has faced. In 2012, dozens of Black Capitol Police employees filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination and a hostile work environment, The Hill reported. Hundreds of Black officers have sued the department since 2001.  

RELATED: Black Amazon Manager Sues Company for Alleged Racial Discrimination, Sexual Harassment 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.   

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