After Diedre Renee Forte was sent two years ago to a routine supervisory class at the Metro Police Department Training Academy, in which the class watched a video that led to Forte’s religious affiliation being identified, her 27-year career with the department changed dramatically.
It’s the main allegation Forte makes in a lawsuit she filed against the police department in federal court last week.
Police spokesman Don Aaron would not comment on the suit, instead deferring to the Metro Legal Department.
But there is no relationship between the two, according to Forte.
“The defendant’s supervisor and subordinates think that plaintiff is not a Christian as they are, and believe that plaintiff has a different religion,” Forte wrote in her complaint, which she filed in federal court herself.
As a result of the discussion surrounding her religious beliefs, Forte said her work environment began to change so drastically that she also suffered discrimination she claims could be attributed to her race, gender and age.
Forte filed complaints with the Metro Police’s Office of Professional Accountability, which were found unsustainable last April.
But in her suit, Forte contends that the department’s attitude was the problem, and that she was repeatedly reprimanded for calling attention to her situation.
“[I] was told not to talk about God, but other supervisors and subordinates could.”
As of press time Friday, the case had not been assigned to a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
May 30, 2006