Updated 09/21/2012 07:19 PM
Miller takes the stand in Ithaca Police Department discrimination trial
The officer who filed a lawsuit against the City of Ithaca took the stand in the federal discrimination trial. YNN's Tamara Lindstrom was in the courtroom.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Testimony in the courtroom is charged with accusations of crime and retaliation in the federal discrimination trial against the City of Ithaca.
Police officer Chris Miller is suing the city, claiming the police department favors minorities, passing over white officers for promotions and training opportunities.
On Friday, Miller took the stand. He outlined his reasons for filing complaints with the Division of Human Rights, including alleged crimes committed by minority police officers while on duty that he says went unpunished.
Miller described an incident in which an officer slammed a suspect's head against the wall, but was not disciplined, despite the suspect later suing the department. He also testified about similar incidents involving white officers, where the officers were disciplined for their actions.
Miller said an African American investigator repeatedly worked in a store she owns while on duty and that senior police staff later covered for her. He testified that the same woman later retaliated against him, shouting obscenities at him while in uniform in the department parking lot and that the department leadership began retaliating after Miller's complaints.
Miller became emotional as he described the retaliation, saying his fellow officers ostracized him, afraid to even be seen talking with him. Of course, the defense will cross examine his testimony next week.
Miller is suing the City of Ithaca for $19 million in damages. The trial is expected to last two weeks.