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Gay Police Officer Wins $225,000 Settlement in Discrimination Suit

Officer Brendan Mannix

Officer Brendan Mannix alleged fellow cops called him "such a queen" and "too dramatic," and denied him backup in dangerous situations.

A gay San Francisco police officer will receive a $225,000 settlement in his lawsuit alleging discrimination and harassment by his colleagues.

The city's Board of Supervisors gave final approval February 8 to the settlement with Officer Brendan Mannix, according to The Bay Area Reporter.

Mannix filed his suit in 2018 in San Francisco Superior Court. He claimed that at the city's Central Station, he was subjected to frequent antigay insults from Sgts. Patrick Tobin and Lawrence McDevitt. They would call him "such a queen" and "too dramatic," and would react to him with remarks like "Ugh, you gays," the suit says. He was also denied backup in dangerous situations, according to the suit.

Their harassment "was so severe, widespread, and/or persistent that a reasonable gay man in Plaintiff's circumstances would have considered the work environment to be hostile or abusive," the suit alleged.

Mannix complained to the city's Department of Human Resources and its Equal Employment Opportunity Division, but a report prepared by Sgt. Maria Ciriaco failed to include many of the incidents he mentioned, his suit says. He also claimed that after complaining, he suffered retaliation by being given the least desirable assignments.

In settling the suit, the city did not admit any wrongdoing by the San Francisco Police Department. "Given the inherent costs of continued litigation, we believe the proposed settlement is an appropriate resolution," Jen Kwart, a spokeswoman for the city attorney's office, told Mission Local. "There is no admission of liability on the part of SFPD or the city."

Mannix is still an officer at the Central Station. Tobin has retired, but McDevitt and Ciriaco are still with the department. A police spokesman contacted by the Reporter declined to say if they have been disciplined.

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