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Illinois Police Chief Named In Discrimination Lawsuit Denies Allegations of ‘Racially Motivated’ Actions Toward Black Cop

A Black officer of Joliet, Illinois claimed he was subjected to racial discrimination in a federal lawsuit against city officials. However, the department recently denied the victim’s accusations.

Officer Lionel Allen said he was retaliated against after speaking up about unfair treatment of another officer who also experienced racism. Shortly after vocalizing his opinion, Allen was transferred to a new task in 2015. He said his transfer “seemed racially motivated” according to The Herald News.

Police Chief Brian Benton allegedly told Allen to withdraw his complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and promised the officer that he’d still have his job if he did so.

Lionel Allen

(photo credit: screenshot of Officer Benton)

However, in court on July 11, Lt. Marc Reid, Benton and the city of Joliet denied all of Allen’s claims.

The city alleged that Officer Michael Cochran filed a complaint against the Black officer after Allen said Cochran “made fun of Black people.” Reid investigated Cochran’s complaint and concluded that Allen’s accusations were false.

Allen said on Tuesday, he felt that Cochran was coerced by police and city officials to craft a complaint against him. During Reid’s investigation, only two Black officers were interviewed out of 37. Allen said officials used the interview as a way to portray Cochran as a non-racist and claimed majority of the officers never witnessed the police chief make any derogatory remarks.

“The city is denying everything. I have documentation,” said Allen. The officer said he has proof of Cochran’s racist behavior. He accused the officer of taunting Black children and even sprayed mace on one of the kids before.

In 2017, the EEOC investigated Allen’s complaint and concluded “reasonable cause” that Allen was unfairly treated by city officials.

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