ATLANTA - A veteran cop named DeMario Jemes showed up at roll call, ready to patrol. But each day, he could not pass inspection because of his facial hair.
An attorney for the officer said Jemes suffers from a skin condition, which disproportionately impacts black males. Despite taking a doctor's note to his superiors, Jemes got sent home over a period of eight months. Rachel Berlin, with Buckley Beal, said the officer got no pay during that time and citizens in neighborhoods on the south side were left with one less officer.
On his behalf, the attorney filed a complaint to the EEOC claiming discrimination. The federal agency has returned a ruling finding evidence discrimination may have taken place.
Berlin said Jemes is entitled to damages that go beyond just his lost wages. She declined to be specific, but sources familiar with the claim said taxpayers could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars.