Lawsuit Against Park Police Alleges Discrimination and Harassment

by Patrick Herron

Officer Mark Miles has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, accusing them of discrimination and harassment.  The lawsuit names the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and Stephanie Harvey (Miles’ former supervisor), as defendants.

Miles was transferred to Harvey’s unit in 2020, where he alleges Harvey called him “colored” and condoned racist remarks that officers made in text messages. According to NBC Washington, the lawsuit states that “Harvey and other officers repeatedly made racist, hateful and offensive comments on that text chain with impunity,” and “these comments included racial and other offensive ‘jokes,’ condoning ‘civil war’ or ‘race war’ and extremist militia groups, and overt threats of violence against African American citizens.”

The New York Times reports that the lawsuit alleges Harvey questioned whether Officer Miles would be “on our side” in a “race war.”  Miles is mixed race and identifies as Black.

The lawsuit also claims that when the discussing Black Lives Matter protesters, Harvey texted it was “time to start killing” and “Well they got the Army out there sooooo … hopefully they will get to kill some people,” and, “Kill em all.”

In a statement, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission said, “when a series of secret text messages among a group of Park Police officers came to the attention of our management, we promptly initiated an investigation and took appropriate action,” and that several officers were suspended and had been referred for termination. The commission also stated that they do not tolerate racism and harassment in the workplace.

Miles’ unit mainly patrolled parks in Montgomery County.

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