United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
BRYAN J. TURNER, Plaintiff,
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, Defendant.
F. KELLY, SR. J.
before the Court is Defendant City of Philadelphia's
(“the City”) Motion for Summary Judgment and
Plaintiff Bryan J. Turner's (“Turner”)
Response to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. For
the reasons noted below, the City's Motion is granted in
part and denied in part.
Bryan J. Turner is a black male who has been employed as a
police officer by the City of Philadelphia since 2011.
(Compl. ¶¶ 1, 8.) He was assigned to the 24th
Police District once he graduated from the Police Academy in
March 2012. (SOF ¶ 2.)
problems relating to Turner's Complaint have their origin
in January 2015. In October or November 2014, Turner
requested assignment to the “drop back shift, ”
where an officer works from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
(Id. ¶ 3.) In January 2015, instead of being
assigned to the drop back shift, he was assigned to the
“last out shift, ” where an officer works from
12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. (Id. ¶ 4.) When Turner
realized he was placed on the last out shift instead of the
drop back shift, he raised his concerns with Lieutenant
Steven Arch (“Lt. Arch”) and Sergeant Bebe
(“Sgt. Bebe”), who said the situation would be
rectified within a few weeks. (Id. ¶¶ 5,
6.) As requested, Turner was transferred to the drop back
shift in early February 2015. (Id. ¶ 7.)
February 2015, Sgt. Bebe recommended that Turner receive a
commendation as a result of a large narcotics seizure.
(Id. ¶ 9.) Lt. Arch, however, denied the
recommendation for the commendation because you
“don't get commendations for doing your job.”
(Id. ¶ 10; see also Ex. A (Deposition
of Turner (“Turner Dep.”) at 26.)) In the same
month, Turner and another officer thwarted an armed robbery,
but failed to apprehend the suspect. (Id. ¶
13.) The next day, he and Officer Eliezer Morales
(“Morales”) observed the suspect and apprehended
him. (Id. ¶ 14.) During the pursuit, the
suspect was able to throw narcotics into a nearby sewer,
which Turner was able to eventually retrieve. (Id.
¶¶ 15, 16.) Turner claims that Lt. Arch yelled at
him about the arrest because Turner failed to retrieve a gun
from the sewer, leading to the accusation that Turner was
going to return for the gun and use it “for his own
reasons.” (Id. ¶ 17.) Lt. Arch then
banned Turner from working with Morales until Turner regained
Lt. Arch's trust. (Id. ¶ 19.)
after his meeting with Lt. Arch, Turner overheard Lt. Arch
say to a different individual that unqualified African
Americans are being put in positions of power because of
affirmative action, not because those individuals deserve to
be there. (Id. ¶ 20.) On March 9, 2015, Turner
drafted a memorandum to Captain O'Connor (“Capt.
O'Connor”) regarding his interactions with Lt. Arch
and the racially-insensitive comment he overheard Lt. Arch
make. (Id. ¶ 21.) Turner claims he filed copies
of the memorandum with Corporal Guridy (“Cpl.
Guridy”), Sgt. Bebe, and Lt. Arch. (Id.)
March 28, 2015, Turner requested to be transferred from drop
back shift to “Two Squad, ” which is a group of
officers that work alternating day and night shifts.
(Id. ¶ 27.) Capt. O'Connor initially
refused Turner's request due to lack of personnel, but
later approved the transfer request effective June 8, 2015.
(Id. ¶ 28.) Turner claims that once he was
transferred to Two Squad he was warned by Corporal Roscoe to
“dot your I's and cross your T's” because
his supervisors just had a meeting about him and they were
looking “for anything they can [to] jam [him] up
on.” (Turner Dep. at 124; see also SOF ¶
April 8, 2015, Turner had a sit-down meeting with Capt.
O'Connor about his memorandum, and Cpt. O'Connor gave
him a copy of the City's EEO Policy and an internal EEO
Complaint form. (SOF ¶¶ 22, 23.) Approximately one
hour after the meeting with Cpt. O'Connor, Turner claims
he was called back into the district office and told he has
“72 hours to get representation, ” as he was
being brought up on disciplinary charges for missing two days
of court in March 2015. (Turner Dep. at 56-57.) On April 15,
2015, he had his formal interview regarding missing court,
where he explained that on one of the days he had prior
obligations with the National Guard, and the other day he was
sick. (SOF ¶ 25.) Turner was not disciplined for missing
court. (Id. ¶ 36.)
April 14, 2015, Turner filed a formal EEO Complaint with the
Philadelphia Police Department Equal Employment Opportunity
Unit, which culminated in the City interviewing twenty-four
police officers and a detailed list of findings.
(Id. ¶ 41.)
giving his statement to Capt. O'Connor, Police Officer
Phillip Lang (“Lang”) conveyed to Turner that Lt.
Arch had a roll call with Turner's squad and had said to
be careful around Turner because Turner was “throwing
everybody under the bus.” (Id. ¶ 36;
see also Turner Dep. 85-87.) As a result of Lt.
Arch's comments, Turner claims that none of the officers
in his squad wanted to work with him or back him up while he
was on patrol. (Id. ¶¶ 37-39.) After the
meeting with Capt. O'Connor, Lt. Arch also refused to
assign Turner to “Patrol Service Area 2, ” which
is a high-crime area that generated assets. (Id.
¶¶ 51, 54.) However, once Turner transferred to Two
Squad on June 8, 2015, his supervisor, Lieutenant Perez
(“Lt. Perez”) also did not assign him to Patrol
Service Area 2. (Id. ¶ 52.) Similarly, Lt.
Perez's replacement, Lieutenant McGlinn, did not assign
him to Patrol Service Area 2. (Id. ¶ 53.)
6, 2015, Cpl. Guridy gave Turner a parking ticket for parking
in a spot marked “Corporal Only.” (Id.
¶ 56.) Turner testified that Cpl. Guridy called him
while he was on a domestic incident to say that his car was
in a “Corporal Only” spot and that it needed to
be moved. (Turner Dep. at 100-01.) Turner said he would move
it as soon as he got back from the domestic incident.
(Id. at 101.) About fifteen or twenty minutes later,
Turner went to move his car and found a parking ticket on it.
(Id.) He looked around the parking lot and saw
numerous cars parked in spots marked for lieutenants,
sergeants, judges, and handicapped individuals, but none of
those cars had tickets on them. (Id. at 102.) He
started taking pictures of the cars and their license plates,
and while doing so, Sergeant Marisol came out and watched
him. (Id.) Sergeant Marisol then went inside the
office and came back out with Lt. Arch, who both stood there
talking among themselves for about a minute. (Id.)
They both went back inside the office and “[e]verybody
comes [out] and starts moving their cars.”
(Id.) Turner testified that all of the cars were
moved within five minutes of him taking the pictures.
(Id.) The record also indicates that on August 25,
2015, Cpl. Guridy gave Police Officer Lang, a white male, a
parking ticket for parking in a “Corporal Only”
spot. (SOF ¶ 57.)
testified that Cpl. Guridy refused to pay him overtime on two
occasions when he had to work past the end of his shift.
(Id. ¶ 58.) He was eventually paid in both
instances after Capt. O'Connor intervened on his behalf.
(Id. ¶ 59.)
also claims that Capt. O'Connor refused to transfer him
away from the 24th Police District when Corporal Pawlowski
(“Cpl. Pawlowski”) was moved there. (Id.
¶ 60.) Turner claims Cpl. Pawlowski once made a
racially-charged statement to him at an off-duty Fraternal
Order of Police Christmas party. (Id. ¶ 61.)
However, Cpl. Pawlowski did not supervise Turner once he was
transferred to the 24th Police District, and Capt.
O'Connor asked Turner's then-supervisor, Lieutenant
McGlinn, to check with Turner weekly to make sure that Cpl.
Pawlowski was not harassing him. (Id. ¶ 62.)
September 4, 2015, Lt. Perez questioned Turner about why he
used sick leave on September 3, 2015. (Id. ¶
63.) Lt. Perez told Turner that his pattern of calling out of
court was what the Federal Bureau of Investigations looked
for when investigating corrupt officers. (Id.)
Turner then sent Capt. O'Connor a memorandum detailing
his concerns with Lt. Perez's comments. (Id.
November 2015, Turner was assigned to bicycle patrol and was
told to borrow a bike from the 25th Police District, which
was a “fair” bicycle. (Id. ¶ 65;
see also Turner Dep. at 116.) Turner claims that his
police district received new bikes, but he was not given one.
(Id. ¶ 67.)
unknown time, but before Turner was transferred from drop
back shift to Two Squad, he was docked thirty minutes of
vacation time because he was fifteen minutes late for his
shift. (Id. ¶¶ 29, 30.) He also claims
that Lt. Arch threatened to dock him for attending college
courses that occurred during his shift, although Lt. Arch did
not actually dock him any time for attending school.
(Id. ¶¶ 33, 35.)
EEO Complaint was not the only EEO Complaint filed against
Lt. Arch. After Turner filed his EEO Complaint, Police
Officers Payeski, Timothy Coleman (“Coleman”),
Lang, Daniel Mitchell (“Mitchell”), and Michael
Hanuscin (“Hanuscin”) filed complaints against
Lt. Arch, which included inappropriate comments, physical
abuse, attempting to unilaterally change an officer's
squad assignment, sending officers on dangerous foot beats,
and giving a parking ticket to an officer for parking in a
“Corporal Only” spot. (Id. ¶¶
August 15, 2015, Turner filed his formal charge of race
discrimination and retaliation with the United States Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and
dual filed the charge with the Pennsylvania Human Relations
Commission. (Compl. ¶ 6.) On May 18, 2016, the EEOC
issued a dismissal notice and notice of rights. (Id.
¶ 7.) On August 16, 2016, Turner filed a Complaint in
this Court alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human
Relations Act (“PHRA”), 43 P.S. § 951 et
seq. Based on the aforementioned conduct, Turner claims
the City has “racially discriminated against and/or
retaliated against [him] for opposing and objecting to
discriminatory conduct, and has created both a racially
hostile environment and a ...