LANSING, Mich. — Former Lansing Community College police officer Curtis Sanford filed a lawsuit claiming LCC failed to investigate racist and insensitive comments allegedly made by one of his white, female co-workers.
“I’m definitely disappointed in the way they handled the situation,” Sanford said.
According to the lawsuit, the comments started in April of 2021 when Sanford’s co-worker stated that Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd, was innocent.
“At one point, she said she would do the same thing that Chauvin did and she didn’t see anything wrong with that," he said.
From there, Sanford said he asked her to stop and reported her comments to three supervisors in his department.
The co-worker was called in for an interview and asked about her comments, the lawsuit states, and during her interview, the co-worker said she and Sanford had a sexual relationship that ended prior to her being hired at LCC and that she was scared of him and fearful of her safety.
“Never once did she report any fear prior to that, to allegations that she was making racist comments,” Sanford said.
The next day, Sanford was ordered to attend a meeting with Human Resources. Sanford said he thought the meeting was about the racist comments he reported, but instead, it centered around his co-worker feeling unsafe.
Sanford says he was asked questions about his sexual history with his co-worker.
“They just came and pounded at me, but every question they asked me I answered," he said.
After the interview, Sanford was served a personal protection order filed by his co-worker.
According to the lawsuit, Sanford also got a notice saying he was dishonest and tried to mislead the investigation by not telling the truth about his prior relationship with his co-worker. LCC also said Sanford, violated a campus policy by talking about the investigation with someone else.
Sanford claimed that he had only mentioned it to his direct supervisor, who was also invited to the meeting.
“It got so bad to the point, where I remember coming home saying I don’t want to be African American anymore,” said Sanford.
He was placed on suspension on May 11 and terminated on May 28.
FOX 47 reached out to LCC, but college officials declined to comment, sending this email saying it was a personnel matter.
Sanford said this whole incident has caused him a great deal of mental, emotional and psychological distress.
“Things have just been hard and I don’t feel like myself,” he said.