A former school resource officer claims he’s the victim of discrimination and suing the Clayton County School District.
Micah Brown – who is white – says he overlooked the discrimination from a supervisor because he loved his work. But then, he says he had no choice but to file a lawsuit.
“I was injured in the line of duty,” Brown said.
Brown said he was chasing a high school student on foot.
“We were executing a search warrant, and trying to get him ready for transport,” Brown said. “In the process, we fell off a retaining wall, and when I landed, I hurt my knee.”
He says a torn meniscus, ripped ACL and other injuries put him out of commission.
In December, 2014, he was placed on Workers Compensation Leave.
According to Brown’s medical records obtained by 11Alive News, doctors recommended knee surgery and estimated 6-to-9 months healing time – but then, he received a call from work.
“I was notified that I had to return to active duty,” he said. “Told them that was not possible; the doctor – which was their worker’s comp doctor – had not released me.”
His attorney, Micah Barry, accused the district of breaking the law.
“They backdated the FMLA in violation of federal law,” Barry said. “They refused to give any light duty, and they gave 30 days of leave after they backdated his federal entitlement so that he would be just two weeks shy of the school year and then they fired him.”
Brown’s lawsuit claims he was the only white resources officer in Clayton Schools and race played a role in his termination.
“So you felt like this particular supervisor had something against you and him?” asked 11Alive’s La’Tasha Givens.
“Yes,” he replied. “And race played a role in his termination.”
“So you felt like this particular supervisor had something against you?”
“Yes,” he said.
“And you think it had to do with race?” Givens asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
Brown says a series of events, including a poor evaluation and singling him out on work assignment protocols are his proof – detailed in an EEOC complaint.
“The only white officer, you have suddenly get treated this way, then what reason do you have? They haven’t even tried to give a reason,” he said.
Through an open records request, 11Alive News was able to obtain Brown’s personnel file. In that file, we found a letter giving the okay to terminate him due to an exhaustion of FMLA/ADA leave.
Brown says that because of the termination on his record, it has been difficult to find work in law enforcement. We reached out to the Clayton County School District for a comment on this story, but they declined.