Port of Seattle Officer Files Race-Based Discrimination Suit

August 4, 2020

A Black officer with the Port of Seattle police is suing over the Port’s alleged failure to provide records of an investigation into racial discrimination claims he made against superiors including the police chief.

Yandle Moss “alleged to his employer that Police Chief Rod Covey and other superiors were subjecting him to retaliation for engaging in protected activity including collective bargaining grievances, whistleblowing, and reporting race discrimination, and that he was being treated adversely because of his race,” according to the complaint filed earlier this month in King County Superior Court.

The Port of Seattle did not immediately respond to request for comment, The Seattle Times reported.

Moss’s allegations of race-based discrimination, the suit says, prompted the Port to put the police chief on administrative leave in June. At the time, the Port declined to specify why, citing an ongoing investigation into his workplace conduct.

In 2019, the Port hired attorney Elizabeth Van Moppes to investigate Moss’s claims. Van Moppes produced two reports, the second of which, the complaint says, is a Port-requested revision of her first report in which she “removed four pages of content, (and) changed facts and findings.”

Moss requested both reports in February. The documents he received, though, were substantially redacted, which Moss alleges was in violation of the state Public Records Act.

Moss is asking the Port give him the records it withheld, as well as unspecified penalties.

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