Melissa McFadden: Ohio police lieutenant sued for 'grooming' black cops against white ones

McFadden is accused of fostering a 'hostile' environment and propagating an 'us versus them' mentality against white colleagues.

                            Melissa McFadden: Ohio police lieutenant sued for 'grooming' black cops against white ones
Melissa McFadden (Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Melissa McFadden, a 25-year-old Black veteran with the Columbus Police has been slapped with a lawsuit brought upon her by 10 of her White and Black officers in her department. This is not the first time her department turned on her but McFadden remains unfazed and she clapped back at the Columbus police force calling them racists in her book 'The Thin Black Line' which came out in September last year which resulted in her being at the center of an internal affairs investigation. 

McFadden was issued a Documented Constructive Counseling or DCC, the lowest form of discipline after the internal affairs bureau investigated a complaint by a retired sergeant Trent Taylor. McFadden mentioned him in her book, writing about his 2016 internal affairs investigation about a Facebook post that remains unfounded. IAB questioned McFadden about her suggesting Taylor was racist in the book. Speaking of Ohio's police department, the city of Columbus offered to pay a $10M settlement to the family of Black man Andre Hill who was shot dead by an Ohio cop.


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“Do you believe he has a hatred for Black people? IAB asked McFadden to which she replied, “I question it.” IAB then asked her “with this statement are you referring to him as a racist?" to which McFadden replied, “No, just, I just question his hatred for Black people.” The disciplinary action meted out to her didn't seem to satisfy Taylor, on the other hand, McFadden took offense and filed a grievance about being given DCC for using the real name of the officer. She was accused of violating a division directive that said, "personnel shall not publicly criticize the division."

Melissa McFadden signs a copy of her book in front of the Columbus Division of Police. (Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'I am bulletproof' says McFadden about the lawsuit

McFadden has faced complaints dating back to 2017, some of which accused her of fostering a 'hostile' environment and grooming impressionable Black cops, instigating an "us versus them" mentality against the white cops. In her 25-year career, McFadden has faced 23 complaints from internal affairs, thirteen of which were filed in the last four years. Two of those were for "rude or discourteous language and actions, one for using mace on a citizen," states Daily Beast

In the book, she has used false names for some, and some she has named for instance Chief Tom Quinlan who in her opinion is 'racist'. McFadden said, "I believe I was discriminated against by Chief Quinlan. So therefore I believe he does practice in a systemic racism environment that we have. He participates in it and he doesn't do anything to resolve the problems." She claims to have worked with a Black Chief of Police, Black Safety Director, and a Black mayor but it doesn't account for much she said. 

'I have lawyers on retainer'

"I find that a lot of times when black people get in positions of power they oftentimes forget where they came from. And as long as they are secure in their own right, their self-preservation, they don't care about anything else," said McFadden. "Under their watch, the division became the whitest of all. We had less African Americans getting on under their watch so they are complicit in the systemic racism because they did nothing about it. They're upset because I exposed them I'm a whistleblower," she noted. 

McFadden seems ready for whatever the CPD throws her way saying the backlash does worry her but it's not something she's not ready for. "I am concerned about retaliation but I expect it. I put the book out knowing they will probably retaliate because they can't help themselves, that is what they do," McFadden said. "The people I put in the book. It's factual. So if they want to sue me I have lawyers on retainer. I am okay with that. But at the end of the day what I said in the book is true and can be backed up with facts," she added.