A veteran Fresno police officer has filed a claim for damages, accusing the police department and Mayor Jerry Dyer of “systemic racial discrimination” and corruption, veteran courts reporter Pablo Lopez reveals in a story for Fresno Spotlight.
In his 18-page claim, Lt. Ignacio Ruiz Jr. names high-ranking police officials and cites specific incidences of alleged wrongdoing.
Ruiz alleges that officers have low morale and are divided into two factions: white officers versus minority officers. Because of the power structure, Ruiz said, white officers have a better chance of getting promoted than minority officers, and minority officers often receive harsher punishment for infractions.
Ruiz filed the claim after he became the target of an Internal Affairs investigation in December 2022 when he said he accidentally dented his work vehicle. He is represented by Fresno attorney Kevin Little.
For exercising his right to free speech, Ruiz has had his badge and gun taken away and faces the threat of being fired, Little said.
Fresno police Lt. William Dooley said in an email to Fresno Spotlight that the department does not comment on active litigation.
Read more at Fresno Spotlight.