Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bridgeton faces another police excessive force lawsuit. Fire Dept also facing discrimination suit.

On April 7, 2016, a local woman filed a federal lawsuit claiming that police in Bridgeton (Cumberland County) applied excessive force against her.  And, on August 13, 2015, a former EMT filed suit because of discrimination based on his perceived sexual orientation.

Jacqueline Love-Skinner v. City of Bridgeton, Federal District Court Case No. 1:16-cv-01937.

In her suit, Jacqueline Love-Skinner claimed that on May 5, 2015, she was visiting the Amity Heights Apartment Complex when she got into a verbal exchange with Lenora Adams after Adams had called her "a drunken bitch."  When officers Ronald Broomall and James Riley came to the scene, Broomall allegedly struck Love-Skinner in the back of the head causing her to fall to the ground.  The fall allegedly caused her to scar her face and break her ankle.  Broomall then "dragged her to the curb, sprayed her with mace and stood on her broken ankle" according to the lawsuit. Love-Skinner claimed that she was charged with Disorderly Conduct but that the charge was later dismissed. Riley is alleged to have not intervened in Broomall's treatment of Love-Skinner.

Donald Hymer v. City of Bridgeton, et al, Docket No. CUM-L-570-15

In his suit, Donald Hymer, who claims to have been unlawfully fired from his part-time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) position on May 29, 2015, was discriminated against "because of his perceived sexual orientation."  He said that he was passed over for a permanent EMT job even though he had more seniority than any of the other interviewees.  

When he attended a March 3, 2015 interview for a full-time EMT position, Hymer said that he was ridiculed by his supervisor Tiffany Durham, who heads the EMT unit for the Bridgeton Fire Department.  According to the complaint, Durham said to him, in the presence of the Bridgeton Fire Chief and other officers, "You need to watch who you hang out with! I saw pictures of you and [male friend] spooning on Facebook!"  Durham's quip allegedly caused the other interviewers "to laugh loudly at Mr. Hymer."

Hymer claimed to have been routinely called "faggot" and subjected to being mocked on social media by his coworkers.  He said that his schedule was changed to prevent him from working any more shifts and was placed on the "do not call" list.