Arbitrator Upholds Firing of Officer Accused of Profiling
CHASKA, Minn. (AP) - An arbitrator has upheld the firing of a Chaska police officer accused of racial and ethnic profiling.
The Chaska Police Department says Officer Joshua Lawrenz requested binding arbitration to contest his firing.
The department says an arbitrator found evidence that Lawrenz relied on racial stereotypes in selecting where to set up stationary patrols and whom to stop and search. The Carver County Attorney's Office determined that stops involving Hispanic drivers were invalid and unconstitutional.
Lawrenz was fired in April after being placed on paid administrative leave. Members of Chaska's Latino community had met with the police chief to complain about profiling.
The police union, Law Enforcement Labor Services, represented Lawrenz. Executive director Sean Gormley says the union believed there were alternatives to firing the officer but respects the arbitrator's decision.