Police officer suing city, police chiefs alleging discrimination


A South Bend Police Officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of South Bend as well as the police department's former and current police chiefs alleging racial discrimination.

Davin Hackett filed the lawsuit in federal court on April 11.

Hackett says he applied for a position on the bomb squad in June 2014 but his application was denied because his military status might make him absent from training or call outs.

In August 2015, Hackett filed a discrimination charge with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the US Department of Labor regarding the denial.

Hackett was informed in November 2016 by the Department of Labor the South Bend Police Department agreed to assign him to the bomb squad. He alleges since then he has never trained with the bomb squad or participated in any bomb squad activities.

He says he also never received additional pay for bomb squad duties.

In 2015, Hackett says he applied for a patrol sergeant position, but Chief Ronald Teachman gave the open jobs to three less qualified white officers, according to the suit.

In 2016, Hackett again applied for a sergeant position, but says Chief Scott Ruszkowski hired a less qualified white officer.

The suit also alleges Hackett has been retaliated against for filing the complaints. He alleges he has been subjected to unjustified investigations and discipline.

Hackett's suit alleges violations of discrimination based on race and discrimination based on military status.

He is seeking back pay, front pay, reinstatement, compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys fees.

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