The L.A. Times reports:
One of the costliest racial harassment cases in the history of the Los Angeles City Fire Department grew more expensive Monday when a jury awarded $1.6 million to two white captains suspended after a black firefighter they supervised had his meal laced with dog food.
Capts. John Tohill and Chris Burton sued the city in October 2006, claiming they were made scapegoats for the misconduct of a Latino firefighter who placed dog food in the spaghetti dinner of firefighter Tennie Pierce four years ago.
Of course, the lesson learned from this depends on your perspective. The author of the article seems to think the lesson is that L.A. Fire Department management is really bad. But the lesson I take from it is slightly different: the city should have taken Tennie Pierce to court. He wouldn’t have won one thin dime.
By blowing the whole thing out of proportion, refusing to tell readers key facts about the case, and putting political pressure on the Fire Department to Do Something, the paper’s editors bear some of the blame.
You don’t see that in today’s story, of course. And you won’t. But you’ll see it here.