11 1 Plaintiffs Verdict Obtained by Civil Division in Los Angeles Superior in Gender Discrimination Case
The Civil Division of CASTILLO HARPER, APC was resoundingly successful in Los Angeles Superior court recently in the case of Morris v. the City of Los Angeles, a gender discrimination case. Officer Cheryl Morris is a veteran officer at the Los Angeles Port Police Department, where she currently holds the rank of Police Officer III. She has served in various capacities during her tenure at the Port Police Department, including as Field Training Officer, Field Supervisor, Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO), Bicycle Patrol Officer, Community Resource Officer and Acting Watch Commander. In fact, Officer Morris has been somewhat of a trailblazer who is highly thought of in the community. She is one of the first two female Field Training Officers (FTO) to ever hold that position with LA Port Police. She is the first Female Police Officer to possess a Bachelor of Arts Degree, the first female Police Officer to be certified and trained in the use of the Urban Patrol Rifle (UPR). Officer Morris has been awarded many commendations from the community she serves, as well as from the department. She also serves as the Vice President of the LA South Chapter of PORAC. In 2011, Officer Morris applied for a position of Sergeant. After two rounds of testing, Officer Morris was passed over for promotion in favor of five male officers.
Officer Morris filed a gender discrimination suit claiming that she was passed over due to her gender. Officer Morris’ case went to trial on April 25, 2016. After three days of testimony, the jury, comprised of 6 males and 6 females, the jury returned a solid 11-1 verdict in favor of Officer Morris. The comments of the jury after the trial indicated that they believe the plaintiff and her attorneys had shown that there was systemic gender discrimination within the Los Angeles Port Police. As a result, Officer Morris will be awarded damages that were stipulated between the parties prior to trial. We are awaiting the court’s decision to grant the requested injunctive relief which would promote Officer Morris to the position of sergeant within the department. Since, the filing of this case Officer Morris has received her Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration and Organizational Leadership. Officer Morris was represented in trial by Brandi L. Harper and Joseph N. Bolander of CASTILLO HARPER, APC.