Claiming that race discrimination cost him a promotion, former Houston police officer Jose Inocencio has pursued legal action against the City of Houston and Interim Police Chief Martha Montalvo.

Court documents filed July 15 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas assert that Inocencio was denied a promotional transfer into the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program on three separate occasions while serving as a lieutenant in the HPD’s Narcotics Division, North Squads.

HPD employed Inocencio, who is Hispanic, for 32 years.

The plaintiff says that he first attempted to secure a position in the HIDTA program about six years ago. Per the lawsuit, Inocencio did not get the opportunity to apply because he was not polled in accordance to HPD policy.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned position reportedly went to a white officer. Inocencio applied for the program two more times to no success, the most recent instance having occurred in sometime in early 2013.

According to the suit, Inocencio’s superiors within the Narcotics Division retaliated against him for addressing the discrimination in question.

“Unable to cope with discrimination, retaliation, and the lack of advancement opportunities, Lt. Inocencio prematurely retired from employment with HPD on November 8, 2014, after more than 32 years of distinguished service,” the original petition says.

Consequently, the complainant seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by attorneys Kim K. Ogg, R. Scott Poerschke, and Christopher J. Ainsworth of The Ogg Law Firm, PLLC in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:16-CV-02115

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