Worst Words… Squid marvels at Donald Trump’s strategy of repeating himself, as if saying something multiple times will transform it into something “perfect.” Squid recently discovered a local example of that strategy – repetition as a way to win – but alleged repetition of very ugly words is getting in the way.
Former Del Rey Oaks Police Sgt. Robert Ingersoll (now working as a private investigator) filed a lawsuit against the city earlier this year over his firing from the department on March 1, 2018, claiming his constitutional rights were violated. Judge Nathanael Cousins of the U.S. District Court for Northern California dismissed Ingersoll’s claims against the city twice, on May 31 and on Aug. 14, granting him leave to return with amended claims.
Ingersoll filed the most recent complaint on Sept. 16, and the gist of his allegations remains the same. He claims the city failed to give enough specific times, dates or witnesses when it came to allegations that he used racial epithets. Squid wonders: If he was a racist on a Monday but not a Friday, would he then try to make the case he’s not a racist?
According to the city’s notice of intent to fire him, dated Feb. 13, 2018, the specific dates don’t really matter – the conduct happened every day that ends in y: “Over virtually your entire career with the Del Rey Oaks Police Department you have regularly and consistently uttered racial epithets.”
If the city wasn’t specific in noting what dates and times the racist comments were made, the notice was specific in listing some very nasty slurs. They’re so nasty Squid isn’t even printng them, but there are slurs for black people, for Latinos, for people of Asian and Middle Eastern descent.
The city interviewed Ingersoll on Dec. 15, 2017 about the racial epithets, making clear at the beginning that he must answer questions truthfully. “You repeatedly lied about the above-described events,” the city’s letter states.
The only thing Ingersoll admitted to was an incident in which he told someone who was camping illegally, “Quit fucking with me or I’ll make you dig a hole, hang you from that tree and bury you in the hole you dug.” Ooph.
Part of Ingersoll’s defense – beyond that whole “days ending in y” part – is that because he’s married to an Asian American, he can’t be racist! A footnote in his suit reads: “Note plaintiff is married to an Asian-American woman.”
At a mediation conference Sept. 16, Ingersoll’s lawyers offered a settlement to Del Rey Oaks. City Council passed on the offer, and Ingersoll gets to file another amended complaint, due Oct. 16. (Squid’s colleague reached out to Ingersoll’s attorneys but they weren’t available by deadline.)
Between now and a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 29, 2020, Squid wouldn’t be surprised if Ingersoll utters some very ugly, racist things. Squid wonders whether he’ll record the times and dates? Better start taking notes.