A jury has rejected a Kansas City police officer's claim that he was the victim of discrimination on the job because of his race.
It took the jury just less than four hours to rule in favor of the defense.
"Obviously for him to bring this case took tremendous courage," said Amy Maloney, the attorney for plaintiff Chad Rives.
It has been more than a two-year battle for Rives, a Kansas City police officer. Rives sued one-time deputy chief Kevin Masters, then-Homicide Captain Floyd Mitchell and Major Randy Hundley as well as the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners. Rives believed he was discriminated against by his African American supervisors and transferred back to patrol so an African American officer could take his spot in the violent crimes division.
"I think it was an important case to bring and I'm glad we brought it, and we certainly don't have any regrets there. All we can hope for is that there will be some fundamental institutional changes," Maloney said.
Rives' lawyers put on videotaped evidence of Masters telling the board he believes the homicide unit needed more African American detectives after the division solved just 42 percent of the homicides in 2010.
The defense insisted Rives was transferred because he was resisting changes to the homicide unit to improve results. Lawyers argued Rives was difficult and had a history of problems with supervisors, co-workers and the public.
Rives' attorneys showed jurors glowing evaluations from his supervisor who called Rives a tenacious detective who got results. They believed Rives' 67 percent clearance rate proved it.
In the end, the jury sided with the defense.
"Mr. Rives has finally at least had the process he deserves and we're grateful for that although we are disappointed with the verdict," Maloney said.
The attorney general's office handled the defense. KCTV5 reached out to their spokesperson for a comment, but didn't receive a call back.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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