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Former cop sues Groton Police Department for discrimination

Flag of the city of Groton, Connecticut
Kenneth C. Zirkel
Wikimedia Commons
Flag of the city of Groton, Connecticut

A former Groton Town police officer alleges he was the target of discrimination after the department did not rehire him to an office position following an injury.

Nicholas de la Cruz was unable to work in the field due a chronic injury. In 2018, he was reinjured while making an arrest, which ended his career in law enforcement.

De la Cruz said the department failed to rehire him to an office position. According to his lawsuit, he was the target of discrimination and retaliation. De la Cruz is of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent and had previously filed complaints with the town’s human resources department.

De la Cruz added the town failed to act on comments related to his race and ethnicity and the department closed the complaint citing lack of information. De la Cruz later filed a complaint with the New London chapter of the NAACP and the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

De la Cruz applied twice for disability retirement, but was denied. He claims other officers have been accommodated. The benefits would allow him to retire despite not having met service or age requirements for retirement because of a medical condition that prevents the individual from performing duties required by the job.

De la Cruz also said he received his pension pay out in August despite his request to not “cash out” until he had finalized matters with the town.

Jeniece Roman is WSHU's Report for America corps member who writes about Indigenous communities in Southern New England and Long Island, New York.