A federal jury has rejected an Oakland firefighter's claim that he was harassed and retaliated against by his supervisors because he was black.
Ronald El-Malik Curtis sued the city in 2010, accusing his supervisors of failing to take action after his fellow co-workers began harassing him. Curtis said other firefighters tampered with his food, stole his car keys and even placed a dead bird under his bed.
The harassment started after Curtis attempted to recruit other black firefighters to transfer to Station 1 at 1603 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, he claimed in his suit. Curtis said his supervisors didn't try to stop the harassment and instead retaliated against him with discipline.
The jury rejected those claims, and City Attorney Barbara Parker said Monday that the lawsuit had no merit. Foster Employment Law was the firm hired to represent the city.
"The City of Oakland takes every allegation of discrimination seriously and promptly conducted independent investigations into each of his allegations pursuant to its standard operating procedures. The investigations did not uncover evidence to support Curtis' allegations of retaliation or harassment," Parker wrote in a statement.