Civil Action Complaint of Cutts, Shabazz & Bell v. Peed, Vickery & Gerber

Civil Action Complaint of
Cutts, Shabazz & Bell

v.

Peed, Vickery & Gerber
14 May 1999


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

Alexandria Division

Robert L. Cutts,

Jabar Shabazz,

Gwendolyn B. Bell,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

Civil Action No. _______



Carl R. Peed,

Sheriff of Fairfax County Virginia,

in his individual and official capacity,

and

The Sheriff’s Department for the County of Fairfax, Virginia

and

James A. Vickery

Chief Deputy Sheriff,

The Sheriff’s Department for the County of Fairfax, Virginia,

in his individual and official capacity,

and

Larry Gerber

Captain of Confinement

The Sheriff’s Department for the County of Fairfax, Virginia,

in his individual and official capacity,

Defendants.



COMPLAINT



I. Preliminary Statement

This is a civil action wherein the plaintiffs, Robert L. Cutts, Jabar Shabazz, and Gwendolyn B. Bell (the "plaintiffs"), alleges that their employer, Carl R. Peed, the Sheriff of Fairfax County Virginia, engaged in discrimination based on race in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1981 which ensures that all persons "shall have the same right . . . to make and enforce
contracts," which is defined by 42 U.S.C. § 1981, to be "the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts, and the enjoyment
of all benefits, privileges, terms, and conditions of the contractual relationship." (Count 1) Plaintiffs further allege that the defendants
violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended 42 U.S.C. §§
2000e et seq. which provides relief against discrimination in employment on
the basis of race and religion, (Count 2), and that defendants retaliated against plaintiffs in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)
and other laws, (Count 3). Finally, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiffs contend that defendants violated plaintiffs First Amendment rights of free
speech, (Count 4), right to petition the government, (Count 5), and right to associated freely, (Count 6).



II. Jurisdiction and Venue

1. Plaintiffs invoke the jurisdiction of this Court pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq, and 28 U.S.C. § § 1331 and 1337, and 42 U.S.C. § 2000-e et seq..
The matter in controversy arises under an act of Congress regulating commerce and relating to race discrimination. Supplemental jurisdiction over
the state law claims is conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 1067.

2. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391 in that the Defendant was doing business in this district, and the activities giving rise to the plaintiffs’ claim took place in this district.

3. Plaintiffs timely filed charges of discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII, with the EEOC and files this suit within 90 days of the receipt of the right to sue letters received by each.



III. Parties

4. The Plaintiff, Robert L. Cutts, (hereinafter "Cutts") is an African-American citizen of the United States.

5. The Plaintiff, Jabar Shabazz, (hereinafter "Shabazz") is an African-American citizen of the United States and is a Muslim and a member
of the religious association, the "Nation of Islam."

6. The Plaintiff, Gwendolyn B. Bell , (hereinafter "Bell") is an African-American citizen of the United States.

7. Defendant Carl R. Peed, (hereinafter the "Sheriff" or "Peed") is a Caucasian and a government official, the elected Sheriff for the County of Fairfax, within the Commonwealth of Virginia. At all times relevant to this action, Peed was the Sheriff for the County of Fairfax, Virginia and acted within the scope and course of his employment. Peed is sued in his official
and individual capacity.

8. Defendant, James A. Vickery (hereinafter the "Vickery") is a Caucasian and a government official, the Chief Deputy Sheriff for the Sheriff’s
Department for the County of Fairfax, within the Commonwealth of Virginia. At all times relevant to this action, Vickery acted within the scope and
course of his employment. Vickery is sued in his official and individual capacity.

9. Defendant, Larry Gerber (hereinafter "Gerber") is a Caucasian and a government official, the Captain of Confinement for the Sheriff’s Department
for the County of Fairfax, within the Commonwealth of Virginia. At all times relevant to this action, Gerber acted within the scope and course of his employment. Gerber is sued in his official and individual capacity.



IV. - Facts

10. Plaintiff Cutts has been employed by the Sheriff since July 22, 1985 until November 20, 1998 when he was terminated.

11. Plaintiff Shabazz has been employed by the Sheriff since March 7, 1994 until November 20, 1998 when he was terminated.

12. Plaintiff Bell has been employed by the Sheriff since February 1996 and again August 8, 1996 until and as of the date of the filing of this suit continues to be so employed.

13. Plaintiffs have performed their duties successfully as employees of the Sheriff.

14. Plaintiffs have been productive and competent employees fully qualified for the positions they occupied as well as those of higher ranks to which
they were not promoted.

15. When Cutts first began working for the Sheriff in 1985, no disciplinary action was recommended against an officer with the Fairfax County Police Department who filed a complaint with the Sheriff’s department that Cutts "had a white wife," and further that complaint remained in Mr. Cutts personnel file with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office until 1992.

16. In 1986, Cutts was given a dark photograph with white eyes and teeth drawn in and told it was a photograph of himself. When Cutts complained, he
was transferred to a predominantly black squad, referred to as the "Anacostia Squad,"a reference to a predominantly black neighborhood, where he remained until 1991, while the officer who drew the photograph was promoted.

17. On May 26, 1992, Cutts was suspended without pay when Cutts informed his supervisor that he was required to leave work due to his daughter’s illness,
while white officers who simply missed work but fraudulently claimed to be present in violation of the criminal code of Virginia, collecting pay for
that same period were not disciplined. At the direction of the Sheriff the disciplinary recommendation related to the two white officers was withdrawn in June of 1997. Further, the Sheriff continued this disparity as late as November 19, 1998 when he references Cutts suspension in his termination.

18. On April 7, 1995, during role call, a deputy officer falsely and publicly accused Shabazz of inciting inmates to refer to white officers as
"Klansmen," "Ku Klux Klans" or words of that effect. In response to a complaint and investigation in which the deputy officer admitted to making the false statements no action was made to inform those who were present at roll call that the accusations were baseless and the discipline imposed, if any, was not as harsh as that imposed upon blacks who allegedly made statements allegedly outrageously false, grossly offensive and highly inflammatory, allegedly demonstrating a reckless disregard for the truth and
exemplifying a behavior that is malicious, deceitful and manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community,
adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in
an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

19. On April 14, 1995, while assigned to post #16, Shabazz received a phone call within the jail phone system and was threatened "Hey Shabazz, you
better watch your back in the locker room from now own." An inadequate investigation of this matter was conducted, if any was conducted at all, despite the complaint by Shabazz.

20. On November 3, 1995, while in the presence and hearing of Shabazz, a caucasion Corporal with the Sheriff’s Department stated to an intoxicated
black inmate, "I don’t play with blacks because I hate them." In response to a complaint and investigation the officer was simply transferred to a different squad and no discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statement was grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees,
embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and
diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

21. On April 30, 1996, Shabazz was denied access to a bathroom which was available and used by white deputies without restriction. When Shabazz
complained of the throwback to the era of "Jim Crow" laws, Gerber informed Shabazz that the problems he was experiencing was being perpetrated by a small group and would continue. Gerber further stated that Shabazz would have problems unless he worked exclusively with "all black Muslims." No or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the action was
grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and
teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the
public in the Sheriff’s department.

22. In May, 1996, a caucasion Captain with the Fairfax Sheriff’s Department lecturing on Legal Documents, opened a class containing a higher number of
black students than customary, beginning with a discourse informing the black students that they were misinformed and uneducated with respect to the
issue of slave trading, informing them that Africans participated in the slave trade. No or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that
the statements and action were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and
diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

23. On January 1, 1997, Shabazz was warned by a message left on his answering machine not to mention anything else about a party, after Shabazz
had expressed offense based upon the tenants of his religion, Islam, and concern regarding the many conversations of officers related to a party and
the action of a white officer attempting to sell copies of a video tape of 17 white Fairfax County Sheriff’s Deputies reportedly engaged in lewd
conduct with strippers performing sexual acts. No or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and action were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous
position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

24. On May 31, 1997, Shabazz was again denied access to the bathroom which was available to white deputies without restriction, despite the fact that the officer refusing Shabazz entrance to the bathroom knew that Shabazz had complained about the "Jim Crow" nature of the prior incident where Shabazz was denied access. No or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact
that the statements and action were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community,
adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in
an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

25. On June 16, 1997, further creating a hostile work environment and in retaliation against Shabazz because he had opposed the Title VII unlawful employment practices of the Sheriff’s Department, Shabazz received a phone call threatening him by stating "N_gger, you better get out of Fairfax. It ain’t going to get no better, N_gger." Although two supervising officers stated that they recognized the voice and the deputy suspected of making the call refused to cooperate with the investigation and the polygraph
examination, and despite the fact that the investigator stated that he was sure of the identity of the perpetrator, the suspected deputy sheriff was
not disciplined for making the phone call. No or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly
offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency
and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

26. On June 18, 1997, the Sheriff’s Department posted a memo looking for "Two white males" for a special assignment to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office in Shreveport, Louisiana, a locality with a reputation for being hot bed of racism. Subsequently, on or about July 24, 1997, two white males were sent from Fairfax County on special assignment to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office in Shreveport, Louisiana. No or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

27. On August 23, 1997, the locker of Shabazz was broken into and two shirts were stolen. No investigation was undertaken despite the complaint of
Shabazz. Further, no action was taken to repair the locker of Shabazz.

28. On September 6, 1997, Shabazz was singled out of a list of ten people with relatively low sick leave earned and received a written warning.

29. On September 24, 1997, information was leaked regarding an investigation of a complaint filed by Shabazz.

30. On October 17, 1997, within approximately 80 minutes after Shabazz walked past a post where the deputy who denied Shabazz access to the bathroom on May 31, 1997, a call was placed from that post to the home of Shabazz where Ms. Shabazz received a "heavy breathing" call, which was meant to annoy, harass and intimidate Shabazz. Although the Sheriff’s department
traced the call to the post, no or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

31. On November 1997, Sheriff Peed rejected the request of Bell to obtain Basic Law Enforcement training at an academy other than the academy
regularly used by Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department because she feared retaliation against her. That request was rejected, despite the fact that a
similar request had been approved for a white male.

32. On or about December 13, 1997, a picture of five Klan’s hoods and a cross was placed in Shabazz’s locker with a note reading "Stop snitching N_gger."

33. On January 10, 1998, less than a month from December 13, 1997, Klan threat, a deputy reported that when locker number 148 became available, he found "N_gger" scrawled inside the locker with "KKK lives," together with a note reading "Do not use per Capt. Gerber." When Shabazz inquired as to why the department permitted this, the Sheriff stated that the locker had come to the Sheriff’s department in that condition. When Shabazz inquired as to why the Sheriff permitted the writing to remain for over one year, the
Sheriff stated that the department did not know about it. Although the Sheriff’s department maintains records regarding the use of the lockers, no
or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working
relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and
diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

34. On December 14, 1997, the day following the Klan drawing in Shabazz’s locker, Cutts’ locker was broken into. No investigation was undertaken despite the complaint of Cutts. Further, no action was taken to repair the locker of Cutts.

35. On 1/15/98, a supervising officer informed Cutts who had filed complaints related to discrimination and hostile work environment, that "Not all SOP’s and policies apply to all employees, just the ones who dance on the line."

36. On January 27, 1998, the Sheriff singled out and informed Shabazz and Cutts, who had opposed actions and statements they believed to be discriminatory based upon race and religion, that they were prohibited from further opposing any practice of discrimination, stating "You are directed--direct order--to cooperate fully in this investigation," and
stating "You’re to refrain from going out in any further--going to the press or doing any of that, until they have a chance to investigate."

37. On February 4, 1998, Cutts was denied his request for a special assignment to discuss the Sheriff’s Department on Career Day at a school, a request that had been permitted in the past and before Cutts became actively engaged in opposing practices of discrimination in the Sheriff’s Department of Fairfax County, and despite the fact that such requests were routinely granted to deputies who did not complain of discrimination.

38. On February 26, 1998, Cutts was subjected to hostile and threatening conduct of a white officer who stated to Cutts, "I hear you are dropping my name all over the place," referring to and in retaliation for Cutts complaints regarding the policy and practice of racial discrimination at the Sheriff’s Department of Fairfax County. The Sheriff had informed this
officer of the allegations and informed him that the Sheriff found no merit in the allegations, despite the fact that the Sheriff purported to have formed an independent commission to investigate the allegations. No or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a
behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient
operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and
diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

39. The Sheriff appointed a commission comprised of individuals who had been given favors and promotions by the Sheriff and reminded of the promotions by
the Sheriff to do the Sheriff’s bidding, ostensibly to investigate the complaints of racial and religious discrimination. Price was promoted while
he sat on the commission.

40. On March 23, 1998, at role call, an officer referenced Asian suspects as "monkeys."

41. On July 21, 1998, in retaliation for opposing the unlawful employment practices, an officer with the Sheriff’s Department informed Shabazz that he is no longer permitted to wear tinted prescription eye glasses, despite the fact that he had been wearing tinted eye glasses without complaint since March of 1994.

42. In August 1998, an officer used racially divisive language referencing another white officer as a "white guitar playing cracker." Despite the complaint by Bell, no or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in
an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

43. In September 1998, a Newspaper article with stereo-typical language ascribed to a black male shown in a photograph along with Marion Barry was removed from the trash can in the Sheriff’s department and placed on the table for others to read. Despite the complaint by Bell, no or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and
teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the
public in the Sheriff’s department.

44. In September 1998 and in the same relative time frame as the publicity related to James Byrd of Jasper Texas who was dragged behind a pick-up truck
by members of a group calling themselves the "Aryan Nation," a white officer stated to other officers including a black deputy "this is just the Aryan
Nation that is in me." Although Shabazz complained about this statements made by employees of the Sheriff’s Department, no or inadequate discipline
was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and
teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the
public in the Sheriff’s department.

45. On September 18, 1998, Cutts and Shabazz were again directed that they could not discuss issues related to the unlawful employment practices of
discrimination and the hostile work environment existing at the Sheriff’s Department for Fairfax County. They were further directed that they must
answer questions or risk dismissal from the Sheriff’s Office.

46. On September 10, 1998, a supervising officer informed Shabazz that the Nation of Islam is a hate group.

47. In September, 1998, at the direction of Sheriff Peed, Bell was yelled at and threatened for making complaints of race discrimination, and directed
not to file further complaints.

48. In September, 1998, Bell was singled out with another black deputy for allegedly leaving an inmate unsupervised, while the white deputy who was equally responsible for the inmate was not disciplined. Further the manner in which the complaint against Bell was made was outside of protocol.

49. On October 14, 1998, a supervisory black officer sitting on Sheriff Peed’s commission referred to Cutts and Shabazz as "N_ggers," stating, "I told you’all N_ggers before...." Additionally, the officer stated to Cutts that his name was a white name, stating "Hey, you don’t get no more cracker than ‘Robert Lee’" referencing Robert E. Lee. Although the Sheriff was informed of the statement, because of race, no or inadequate discipline was imposed despite the fact that the statements and actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and exemplified a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

50. On November 6, 1998, after an incident involving the shooting of an Hispanic male, Vickery sent a memo to personnel informing them that the department had received a threatening call from a "male with broken English and sounding illiterate. The voice gave impression of being a Black male." Vickery sent a second memo without the reference to a "Black."

51. In and around October, 1998, Cutts, Shabazz, Bell and others sent correspondence to government officials regarding their complaints of racial discrimination at the Fairfax County’s Sheriff’s Office, and were
subsequently disciplined for doing so and retaliated against.

52. Despite the fact that on December 22, 1997, the Sheriff protested that the behavior that Shabazz had been subjected to was "outrageous, disgusting and sickening," and encouraged Shabazz to "continue to document and bring everything to our attention," Sheriff Peed terminated Shabazz and Cutts less than one year later stating "Your continued submission of unsubstantiated allegations and refusal to accept findings by the special investigative panel..." and stating that Shabazz and Cutts "baised and unfounded
allegations ... impairs your abilities to perform your duties."

53. Following the letters to government, Bell and others were interrogated regarding their participation in the petitions.

54. Because of his race and in retaliation for the complaints of race discrimination, Cutts was terminated.

55. Because of his race and religion and in retaliation for the complaints of race and religious discrimination, Shabazz was terminated.

56. Because of her race and in retaliation for the complaints of race discrimination, Bell was threatened with discipline and actually disciplined more severely than whites.

57. On numerous other occasions, employees for the Sheriff’s department, have expressed their hostility towards African-Americans, including but not limited to the incidents described above.

58. There exists in the Sheriff’s Department for the County of Fairfax, Virginia a systematic and widespread pattern and practice of racial
animosity towards African-Americans.

59. There exists in the Sheriff’s Department for the County of Fairfax, Virginia a policy and/or custom to discriminate against the town’s African-American employees.

60. With regard to other black deputies, whose cooperation has not been obtained with special promotions and special treatment, there existed and
still exist similar difficulties regarding a racially hostile environment.

61. Grievances by these employees have also been unsuccessful.

62. Above stated racist actions and statements have been well known for years by the Sheriff.

63. Plaintiffs have fully complied with the any grievance procedures.

64. Complaints made by Plaintiffs have not been seriously addressed and others were simply not addressed.

65. The Sheriff’s grievance procedure in place is not efficient and is legally insufficient.



V. Count One

Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981

Race-Based Failure to Promote//Denial of Full Benefits.

Against Peed, Vickery and Gerber

66. The allegations of each of the foregoing paragraphs are incorporated herein as if realleged.

67. Defendants denied plaintiffs Cutts, Shabazz and Bell the rights guaranteed to them under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which ensures that all persons "shall have the same right . . . to make and enforce contracts," which is defined by 42 U.S.C. § 1981, to be "the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts, and the enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms, and conditions of the contractual relationship."

68. Defendants created and supported a system that resulted in a disprorportionate number of blacks being excluded from promotional opportunities and positions, and by rewarding only a few blacks who supported racism which generally effected black employees.

69. Defendants Vickery and Peed terminated Cutts and Shabazz in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

70. Defendants Vickery and Peed denied Cutts, Shabazz and Bell the enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms and conditions of the contractual relationship, by among other things, denying special assignments, refusing to send blacks to National Conference Training with the whites, creating a hostile work environment, failing to provide unrestricted access to
facilities unrestricted to whites, failing to provide secure lockers, failing to investigate incidents, failing to consider plaintiffs for promotions, failing to provide to plaintiffs leadership and other training
and the like.

71. The defendants repeated failure and refusal to promote or transfer plaintiffs and modify the employer-employee relationship in the manner that
such a promotion or transfer would entail was because of plaintiffs’ race and constitutes a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

72. It was futile for plaintiffs to apply for promotions.

73. The foregoing acts violate 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

74. As a result of the willful and discriminatory actions and wrongful acts of employees of the Sheriff and his deputies set forth herein, and consistent with the Sheriff’s underlying policy and/or custom of unlawful discrimination against its African-American employees, the plaintiffs have suffered lost income in the form of lost compensation and other benefits and
privileges of employment and has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish.



VI. Count Two

Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Racial Discrimination

Against Sheriff Peed

75. The allegations of each of the foregoing paragraphs are incorporated herein as if realleged.

76. Sheriff Peed and the County of Fairfax are employers subject to Title VII under 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e(b), having 15 or more employees for each
working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and/or the agent of that person.

77. Aforementioned acts and utterances by Defendants were made with and are based upon racial and racist animus, and constituted unlawful discrimination
based on Plaintiffs race.

78. Aforementioned acts and utterances by Defendants were made with and are based upon racial and racist animus together with animus towards the religion and religious practices of Shabazz, and constituted unlawful discrimination based on Plaintiffs race and religion.

79. Defendants intended to discriminate based on race and/or religion.

80. Plaintiffs Cutts was treated less favorably than his peers because of his race.

81. Plaintiff Shabazz was treated less favorably than his peers because of his race and religion.

82. Plaintiffs Bell was treated less favorably than her peers because of her race.

83. Plaintiffs were subjected to an abusive and hostile work environment because of their race.

84. Plaintiff Shabazz was subjected to an abusive and hostile work environment because of his race and religion.

85. The defendants conduct motivated by race had the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment and had the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with plaintiffs’ work performance and/or otherwise adversely affected plaintiffs’ employment opportunities in violation of Title VII and 29 C.F.R. § 1606.8(b).

86. The racially hostile working environment was sufficiently severe and/or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment for plaintiffs and to create
an abusive working environment.

87. The acts of the defendants and the employees or agents of defendants were not isolated or trivial.

88. The defendants knew or should have known of the conduct creating a hostile work environment and failed to take prompt and effective remedial action.

89. As a result of Defendants’ discriminatory actions, Plaintiffs have suffered lost income in the form of lost raises and lost career opportunities and lost wages.

90. Plaintiffs are now suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable harm and injury as a result of Defendants' policies, practices, customs and usages as set forth herein.

91. As a direct result of Defendants' discriminatory and wrongful acts as set forth herein, Plaintiffs have suffered lost wages, income and expenses, emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish.



VII. Count Three

Violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-3

Retaliation

Against Sheriff Peed

92. The allegations of each of the foregoing paragraphs are incorporated herein as if realleged.

93. Plaintiffs engaged in protected activities under Title VII in opposing the unlawful employment practices of the Sheriff’s Department of Fairfax
County Virginia.

94. Plaintiffs suffered adverse employment action which were causally connected between the plaintiffs’ actions and the harm suffered.

95. Aforementioned acts and utterances by Defendants were made because of Plaintiffs’ expressed opposition to earlier discriminatory acts and utterances, and because of their complaints to their superiors and others about such acts.

96. Plaintiffs were made to feel shunned and isolated by the retaliatory actions of Defendants.

97. As a result of Defendants’ retaliatory actions, Plaintiffs have suffered lost income in the form of lost wages, raises and lost career opportunities.

98. Plaintiffs are now suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable harm and injury as a result of Defendants' retaliatory acts and utterances
as set forth herein.

99. As a direct result of Defendants' retaliatory and wrongful acts as set forth herein, Plaintiffs have suffered medical expenses, emotional distress,
humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish, and lost income.



VIII. Count Four

42 U.S.C. § 1983 Action for Violations of

First Amendment to the United States Constitution-Speech

Against Sheriff Peed



100. The allegations of each of the foregoing paragraphs are incorporated herein as if realleged.

101. The actions of Defendants prohibiting plaintiffs from discussing their complaints of racial discrimination and threatening or imposing punishment
for such speech was and is demeaning and humiliating to the plaintiffs and is an unconstitutional infringement upon plaintiffs’ right to freedom of
speech.

102. The Sheriff is responsible for the acts of his deputy sheriffs under Virginia law.

103. The supervisory defendants tacitly authorized or were indifferent to the specified condition stated herein and are therefore personally liable
under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The supervisory indifference and/or tacit authorization of their subordinates' misconduct was a causative factor in the constitutional injuries they inflicted on the plaintiffs.

104. The actions of Defendants were committed by Defendants under color of the policy and procedures of the Sheriff’s Department for the County of Fairfax, the ordinances of the County of Fairfax and the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

105. The actions of Defendants violated plaintiffs’ rights under the Constitution of the United States.

106. Defendants’ restraint of plaintiffs’ speech is an ongoing violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and is as such a per se irreparable harm.

107. The interests of the Sheriff, as employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees does not outweigh
the interests of the plaintiffs, as citizens, in commenting upon matters of public concerns.

108. Any alleged interests of the Sheriff, as employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees must be
weighed against the actions it has taken against other employees who have spoken or acted in such a way as to be grossly offensive and highly inflammatory and to exemplify a behavior that is malicious, manipulative,
inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department.

109. Because the Sheriff failed to act to discipline employees who spoke or acted often with regards to matters not protected by the First Amendment,
because the speech or actions were not regarding matters of public concern where such speech or actions were grossly offensive and highly inflammatory
and to exemplify a behavior that is malicious, manipulative, inciting fellow employees, embarrassing the agency and the community, adversely impacting
the efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department, diminishing the close working relationship, trust and teamwork necessary in an environment which could place staff in a dangerous position, undermining the expectations and diminishing the confidence of the public in the Sheriff’s department, the interest of the Sheriff is of negligible weight in any balancing test.

110. No compelling governmental interest will be or was served by Defendants’ restriction of plaintiffs.

111. Defendants’ restriction of plaintiffs’ speech is not content-neutral.

112. Defendants’ restriction of plaintiffs’ speech is not narrowly tailored to serve any significant government interest.

113. Defendants’ restriction of plaintiffs’ speech does not leave open ample alternative channels of communication.

114. The restriction imposed by Defendants is imposed because of disagreement with the message and was viewpoint discrimination.

115. Defendants acted in contravention of clearly established principles that speech like that of Plaintiffs’ is constitutionally and otherwise
protected by the laws of the United States and does not lose its protection simply because Defendants believe that the speech is critical, bluntly
worded or directed at governmental officials.

116. Defendants’ actions towards plaintiffs constituted selective enforcement of asserted rules by Defendants, and were based upon content and
discriminated against plaintiffs’ viewpoint.

117. The restrictions imposed upon plaintiffs were not reasonable time, place and manner restrictions.

Policy and/or Custom

118. The Sheriff’s Department of Fairfax Virginia had an official policy and/or custom of content discrimination.

119. The termination was pursuant to and based upon the official custom and/or policy.

120. The policy or custom is not only a formal one, reflected in the County’s Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, but is also an informal one that
is so permanent and well settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of law in the County of Fairfax.

121. The policy and/or custom which infringes, chills or otherwise restrains constitutionally protected speech is reflected, inter alia, in County’s
Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, § 19.6 ¶ 38 which reads in pertinent part as follows: "Behaviors unbecoming a Fairfax local government
employee...[is]...Any conduct having an adverse effect on the County’s interest or on the confidence of the public in County government."

122. The actions of the named officials herein are those having final authority to establish the policy of the County of Fairfax due to their high
rank, authority and practice within the County.

123. The named officials herein are of such high rank within the County of Fairfax as to be free from close review by higher authorities.

124. The constitutional injuries of Plaintiffs resulted from the official policy and/or custom of the County of Fairfax.

125. The County of Fairfax had actual or constructive knowledge that the named officials were engaged in conduct that posed a "pervasive and unreasonable risk" of constitutional injury to citizens like the plaintiffs, that the County’s response to that knowledge was so inadequate as to show deliberate indifference to or tacit authorization of the alleged offensive practices, and there was an affirmative causal link between the County and the particular constitutional injury suffered by the plaintiffs.

126. Defendants continue to take actions against Plaintiffs in retaliation for his exercise of free speech, including but not limited to attempts to
prevent him from obtaining unemployment compensation after his termination.

127. As a result of Defendants’ actions against the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs have suffered lost income in the form of lost compensation and other benefits and privileges of employment and has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish.

128. The acts of Defendants complained of herein violated the rights of the plaintiffs to freedom of speech under the First Amendment of the
Constitution of the United States, by without limitation, chilling plaintiffs’ speech, engaging in viewpoint discrimination, and restricting his speech based upon content.



IX. Count Five

42 U.S.C. § 1983 Action for Violations of

First Amendment to the United States Constitution-Petition Government

Against Sheriff Peed

129. The preceding averments and allegations of this Complaint are incorporated herein by this reference.

130. The acts of Defendants complained of herein violated the rights of the plaintiffs to petition the government for a redress of grievances under the
First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, by without limitation, chilling plaintiffs’ petitioning, engaging in viewpoint discrimination, and restricting their petition based upon content.



X. Count Six

42 U.S.C. § 1983 Action for Violations of

First Amendment to the United States Constitution-Association

Against Sheriff Peed

131. The preceding averments and allegations of this Complaint are incorporated herein by this reference.

132. Plaintiffs, who had associated with Blacks in Government "BIG" and the National Associated for the Advancement of Colored People "NAACP," were restricted in their association and communication with these groups by defendants.

133. The acts of Defendants complained of herein violated the rights of the plaintiffs to assemble under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the
United States, by without limitation, restricting plaintiffs’ right to associate and communicate with groups including Blacks in Government "BIG"
and the National Associated for the Advancement of Colored People "NAACP."



WHEREFORE, with respect to Counts 1-6, the plaintiffs respectfully pray that this Court:

a. Issue a declaratory judgment that the defendants acts, policies, practices and procedures complained of herein violated the plaintiffs’ civil rights as secured by 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1985, 1986 and 2000e et. seq; and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; and

b. Order the defendants to make whole the plaintiffs by providing appropriate back pay and other benefits wrongly denied in an amount to be shown at trial and other affirmative relief;

c. Order the defendant Sheriff Peed to reinstate Cutts and Shabazz with full benefits;

d.   Enjoin further race and religious discrimination by the defendants and restrictions and violations of plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights;

e. Grant plaintiffs their attorney's fees, costs and other disbursements;
and

f. Award compensatory, punitive, and liquidated damages in the amount of $45,000,000.00 or such greater amount as may be proved at trial or such
other sum as the law may provide; and

g. Award front pay if appropriate in an amount to be proved at trial; and

h. Grant such addition relief as the Court deems just and proper.

A TRIAL BY JURY IS REQUESTED

This 13th day of May, 1999.

Respectfully submitted,



Robert L. Cutts,

Jabar Shabazz,

Gwendolyn B. Bell,



By Counsel

Thomas H. Roberts, Esq. (VSB 26014)

Tim Schulte, Esq. (VSB 41881)

Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C.

105 South 1st Street

Richmond, Virginia 23219

Tele: (804) 783-2000

Fax: (804) 783-2105

Cooperating Attorneys for Freedom Works Foundation

Counsel for Plaintiffs

 

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