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Former LAPD Officer, Known for 25-Year Gay Rights Battle, Arrested for Domestic Abuse

Former LAPD Officer, Known for 25-Year Gay Rights Battle, Arrested for Domestic Abuse

Mitchell Grobeson in 1994
Mitchell Grobeson in 1994

A man who is considered to be the first openly gay LAPD officer was arrested in Los Angeles on charges of abusing his spouse. 

A former Los Angeles Police Department officer who fought against the department for its treatment of gay officers is scheduled to appear in court today on charges of domestic abuse, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mitchell Grobeson, 57, who is best known for his 25-year legal battle against the LAPD, was arrested Friday after a standoff with police and was charged with corporal injury of a spouse, according to the paper.

In 1988, Grobeson filled a suit alleging the LAPD forced him into retirement after seven years on the force "following a mix of threats and intimidation over his sexual orientation," the Times reports. According to the paper, in the lawsuit Grobeson said he once received a package marked "AIDS Survival Kit" and was also insulted by a superior.

Grobeson said the harassment he experienced at work made him consider suicide, but instead, he decided to document it and take the fight to court, notes a 1989 Times article. At the time he said he was the only openly gay officer on the force.

He and several other officers were awarded $770,000 in damages in 1993, but he returned to work only to be suspended in 1994, for wearing an LAPD uniform in a Pride parade because it allegedly violated the terms of a settlement. He sued the LAPD again in 1996, alleging some of the reforms it promised were not delivered, according to the Times.

Eventually, Grobeson retired on a stress-related disability claim, settling his last remaining lawsuit against the LAPD in 2013, according to the paper.

He is scheduled to appear in the Airport Courthouse today, according to the paper.

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