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White North Miami Cop Sues for Race Discrimination After Black Officers Promoted

North Miami Police Sgt. Patrick McNally (left) is suing after former Chief Gary Eugene (right) didn't promote him.EXPAND
North Miami Police Sgt. Patrick McNally (left) is suing after former Chief Gary Eugene (right) didn't promote him.
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The North Miami Police Department's interim chief, Larry Juriga, claimed in a lawsuit two years ago that the police department "discriminated" against him for being a "white redneck." As ridiculous as that claim might be, it seems another NMPD officer (and reported friend of Juriga's) is so incensed about racial diversity in the department that he's filed his own lawsuit: Sgt. Patrick McNally, who is also white, has filed an employment-discrimination lawsuit against NMPD, claiming the department is intentionally holding white people back.

McNally wrote in his December 5 lawsuit that he is a "white, U.S.-born police sergeant who was passed over for a promotion to commander, for which he was qualified, in favor of three (Haitian, Hispanic, and African-American) sergeants."

McNally claimed that because former Chief Gary Eugene was himself Haitian-American, Eugene intentionally discriminated against white people in favor of other Haitians. When Eugene was hired, he said on the record that he wanted to make the police department more racially diverse and "mirror" his community, which is predominantly black and Haitian-American. McNally claims that statement is evidence Eugene "discriminated" against whites.

According to the suit, Eugene later admitted some of his promotions were "not based on merit," which might wind up being a sticking point in the case. McNally writes that Eugene "engaged in a cluster of race-based promotional decisions" that included "promoting Sergeants Emile Hollant, a Haitian; Rafael Estrugo, a Hispanic; and Angelo Brinson, an African-American, over McNally."

McNally says Eugene told other employees the promotions were "not based on performance." But other than that claim, he doesn't list his competitors' qualifications or whether any of his co-workers were also eligible to be promoted.

Last week's suit is the latest in a series of "anti-white" or "anti-male" complaints from Miami-area cops and civil servants: In 2016, a white applicant at Miami-Dade County Public Schools sued the district for "anti-white" discrimination for refusing to hire her because she didn't speak Spanish. This year, a male Hialeah cop filed a suit claiming Hialeah PD's overwhelmingly male command staff was discriminating against men.

Eugene was later fired during the fallout from the shooting of Charles Kinsey, an unarmed behavioral therapist shot by an NMPD cop while simply trying to help an autistic man out of the street. After New Times published a sworn interview Eugene gave the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) following the shooting, it was revealed his statements contradicted other testimony he gave his own internal affairs investigators. (Eugene also threw his entire department under the bus in his interview with FDLE by saying the department was a poorly run mess staffed with warring factions of officers who hate one another.) The debacle was a major reason City Manager Larry Spring demanded Eugene resign last year. Eugene is now suing the department.

In his sworn statement to FDLE, Eugene said Juriga tried to frame then-Commander Hollant for misconduct after the shooting in order to pin blame on him and get him fired. In a move ripped from a soap opera, Juriga magically became interim chief after Eugene was pushed out and then fired Hollant last week. Hollant is also suing the department.

Now McNally's lawsuit makes it pretty clear there's tons of acrimony inside NMPD.

"Mr. McNally's race (white) was a substantial, motivating cause of former Chief Eugene's passing over McNally for promotion to commander of police in favor of Messrs. Hollant, Estrugo, and Brinson," McNally's suit reads.

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