Trooper: I Was Discriminated Against For Attending AA Meetings

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Trooper: I Was Discriminated Against For Attending AA Meetings

By Victoria Kim 07/27/17

The officer was allegedly declared unfit for duty and stripped of his firearm for information he shared during an AA meeting.

Image: 
State Trooper Craig Tuer
State Trooper Craig Tuer Photo via YouTube

A state trooper is suing Michigan State Police for allegedly discriminating against him because they perceived him to be an alcoholic. Craig Tuer, 48, filed the lawsuit on July 17 in Wayne County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit alleges that State Police declared Tuer unfit for duty and confiscated his gun "based on the perception that he is an alcoholic"—thereby violating state and federal anti-discrimination laws, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The military veteran and 22-year veteran of the force denies that he suffers from alcohol addiction, but has been going to AA meetings occasionally since 2012 to address his excessive drinking habits off the clock. 

At one meeting in 2014, he shared that his fellow officers in the Sex Offender Registry Enforcement Unit would drink and drive during training sessions.

This led to an internal investigation of the officers after a fellow AA'er at the meeting reported their activities to State Police. Tuer realized that he was probably the reason why his fellow officers were in hot water so he decided to admit that he'd shared the info about the special enforcement unit's inappropriate drinking. Shortly thereafter, the agency declared him unfit for duty and took away his firearm.

Tuer said he shared with the group because he was under the impression that his anonymity and membership in AA were protected. His lawsuit accuses State Police of forcing him to break AA confidentiality by making him identify his sponsor for questioning. 

"One of the tenets of AA is that things discussed at AA meetings are confidential and are not to be shared outside AA meetings," the lawsuit states. "Tuer always honored the vow of confidentiality; unfortunately, one person did not."

Tuer is also suing the police agency over discrimination and retaliation under Michigan's Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act and the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

The Free Press notes that Tuer has a history of complaints filed against State Police over violations of medical privacy and discrimination "based on a perceived medical condition." The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued multiple rulings in favor of Tuer, saying that he was denied promotion, harassed, and discriminated against "in retaliation for complaining of discrimination."

A spokesperson for State Police denied Tuer's allegations, saying, "We did not discriminate against him...We plan to defend this matter and its procedures vigorously."

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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