ELK GROVE (CBS13) – A former police officer, who is openly gay, is suing the police department for discrimination.
“I was a second-class citizen. I didn’t have the same rights and equalities as everyone else,” Jeremy LeMire said during his employment with the department from 2014-2016.
LeMire was a decorated war veteran and then contractor with a state department.
Beginning a new career was daunting, but he ended up landing a job with the department. A major feat, but then he said the background check got off to a questionable start.
“The sergeant says to me, I don’t know if we have one of you in our department,” he said. “He wasn’t being malicious in his statement, I think he was just being brutally honest.”
LeMire decided to keep his sexuality to himself.
Within the first year, he received an award and recognition for a big drug bust.
Over time, however, he claims multiple homophobic references were made throughout the department and he reported it.
“There was an instance very specifically involving a sergeant where he went on an anti-homosexual tirade in the break room right in front of our officer,” he said.
After he filed a complaint he said came the retaliation.
“They tried to find anything that they could to write up on me,” he added.
He says he was terminated 11 days before the end of his probationary period, ending his dream to become a permanent officer.
“What did they tell you why they let you go?” I asked.
“They didn’t. They just let me go,” he said.
LeMire filed a civil tort with the city claiming he had been discriminated against, but city officials rejected it last year.
LeMire says his dream won’t end there. He plans to make sure future Elk Grove Police officers don’t face discrimination or retaliation he said he went through.
“We are supposed to service the entire community, so if you can’t accept me as an employee or as a coworker, where is the level of service? What is the level of end product you’re providing the community?” he stated.
The Elk Grove Police Department declined to comment.