Retired Lieutenant Awarded $1.2 Million For Racial Discrimination

The Roselle Police Department violated the civil rights of a 26-year veteran of the department, a jury determined.

Roselle, NJ – A retired Roselle Police Department (RPD) lieutenant was awarded of $1.2 million on Tuesday, after a Union County jury determined that his department had violated discrimination and civil rights laws.

Lieutenant Bradley Downing, who is African American, applied for an open captain’s position at the RPB in 2013, the NJ Advance reported.

He achieved the highest score among the applicants, and had no history of disciplinary actions with regards to his decades of service at the RPD, according to court documents.

On the day that the exam results were announced, Lt. Downing was written up for minor disciplinary infractions, including forgetting to endorse a report, making improper copies of paperwork, and being eight minutes late to one of his scheduled shifts.

The infractions, issued by RPD Chief Gerard Orlando, rendered Lt. Downing ineligible for the captain’s promotion, and ultimately forced him into retirement, the NJ Advance reported.

Lt. Downing filed the racial discrimination lawsuit in 2013, according to the Amsterdam News.

The jury concluded that the RPD and Chief Orlando violated the state’s discrimination and civil rights laws, and awarded Lt. Downing $350,000 for emotional distress.

He also received $60,000 in back pay, $570,249 in lost pension, $48,000 in future wages, and $250,000 in punitive damages.

Lt. Downing served the RPD for a total of 26 years.

“If this verdict does not show that racism will no longer be accepted in our educated and enlightened society, I do not believe anything ever will,” the lieutenant’s attorney, Patrick Toscano told the NJ Advance. “Simply put, achievement has no color.”

The Borough of Roselle “vehemently” challenged the jury’s decision, and said the Lt. Downing’s claims were “without merit,” according to a press release.

“A detailed investigation conducted by an independent counsel confirmed that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations made by the plaintiff,” the statement read. “The Borough supports and fosters and environment of equal opportunity for all of its employees, and, therefore, must explore all legal avenues to overturn the unfortunate and misguided decision in this matter.”

Chief Roselle retired from the RPD in January, according to

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Vocal Pelican A Negro? What are you back in the 1960s? I grew up with the words colored and Negro. When I became an adult, my words changed with the times. If someone was calling you Whitey, I would bet you'd be pissed. And while you're judging me for being a self-loathing caucasian...I'm a conservative with extremely conservative roots who is exceptionally not politically correct.


There is a new chief in the Borough of Roselle. His name is Brian Barnes. He started his career as a patrol officer. Then climbed through the ranks of Sgt, Lt, and Capt before being appointed Chief. And guess what? He is black. And he became chief before this stupid lawsuit was announced. And just to be clear, he was black during his entire career at RPD.


I have one question for VocalPelican and BillD. Are you guys cops? Do you walk around with guns on your hips and police people? If so, you are obviously VERY racist and shouldn't be allowed near a gun which you can use on BLacks.


Fact check. Police kill more whites then they do blacks. And why do you assume that if the people you mentioned are cops, that they are also white, and guys? I know many "racist" cops, both black and white, male and female.