Discrimination and Retaliation
Settled November 2008
While on patrol on June 29, 2004, Newark police officer Joyia Miles was alerted to a domestic violence incident/fight at a bar, involving Newark police sergeant Darnell Henry. When she responded, Henry assaulted her, causing various injuries and permanent scarring. There was "initial discussion" of an Internal Affairs investigation, but it came to nothing, as Miles was neither interviewed nor contacted as part of the investigation. Less than three weeks later, her superior, Lieutenant Vincent Ucci, began a retaliatory campaign against Miles over the incident, taunting and denigrating her, and subjecting her to a severe and discriminatory work environment. Her lawsuit against the Newark Police Department (NPD) (No. ESX-L-1679-06; 06-cv-1587 after removal) states that she, like other African-American police officers, suffered retaliation for standing up for her rights, and states that the NPD's equal employment opportunity employment policy is mere "window dressing." Her case was settled in or about November 2008, with taxpayers paying her $65,000.00.
Note: None of Miles' allegations have been proven or disproven in court. The settlement agreement likely states that the $65,000 payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by Newark or any of its officials. All that is known for sure is that Newark, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Miles $65,000 than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants' decision to settle was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases settle before trial — it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened — or what consequences, if any, came to the individuals accused in the suit.