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Sewickley Man Sues Pennsylvania Claiming His Dismissal as State Police Trooper was Racially Motivated

William Peake's termination letter cited "lack of solid job knowledge and basic police skills." His lawsuit alleges his firing was due to racial discrimination.

A Sewickley man has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania alleging that he was fired from his job as a state police trooper because of racial discrimination.

William C. Peake, 29, of Walnut Street, also alleges in the civil suit filed in U.S. District Court on Dec. 4, that he was falsely accused of using “Ebonics” in his incident reports.

According to the lawsuit, Peake graduated from the police academy in May 2009, and was one of four African-American graduates in the class of 75. 

Peake began an 18-month probationary period and was assigned to the Uniontown barracks, which is headquartered in Washington, PA, according to the suit.

His probationary period was to expire on Nov. 3, 2010, and according to the suit, Peake was notified at various times during his employment that his report writing was deficient. 

The lawsuit suit says that Peake was awarded two certificates in report writing and communications and one of his trainers compared his skills favorably to those who had been on the job for years, as regular troopers.

His last two written performance evaluations also indicated he was making progress in a number of categories, the lawsuit states.

During the last few months of his employment, Peake was taken off the road and away from his normal duties as a highway trooper and placed almost exclusively on desk duty, the suit states.

He was terminated on Nov. 3, 2010 and a letter listed the reasons as a “lack of solid job knowledge and basic police skills, along with officer/public safety concerns,” according to the lawsuit.

The suit states that Peake was “treated differently” because he is black and “judged by different and more harsh standards” to prevent him from becoming a full-fledged state trooper.

Peake is seeking to be reinstated as a trooper and compensation for the loss of wages and benefits as determined by a jury.

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Linda Heasley December 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I am so sick of every person who is african american filing law suits after loosing their jobs. This man did not meet the standards whether black, white, red or blue. I am going to start sueing every time I don't get a job because of my age or gender or color. This is totally ridiculous. Do you know how many qualified people would love to have this job. It has nothing to do with race. Do you know how many people have gone to college for 4 or 6 years and still can't get a job like this and are in debt up to their ears. I am so sick of racially motivated law suits. I think everyone should file a lawsuit when they are dismissed, maybe it will put a end to this nonsense.
Shawn Vereen December 12, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Linda, Learn to spell before you comment on such issues. Clearly you are either uneducated, or you are unfamiliar with spell-check. Your poor grammar and spelling wouldn't qualify you for such a position. You probably won't start "sueing" every time you don't get a job because I'm sure you already have one that you are qualified for because you are a white woman who lives in Sewickley. Most white women in Sewickley don't work. Hopefully you don't "loos" your job.
Shawn Vereen December 12, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Pretty hilarious you are bashing the guy who lost his job because he was writing his reports yet you cannot spell either. Pretty hypocritical if you ask me.

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