Ex-Baldwin Park Police Chief Claims Discrimination in Firing

Chief+Salcedo+at+an+Easter+event+in+Baldwin+Park.+Photo+from+Justice+for+Chief+Salcedo+Facebook+page.

Chief Salcedo at an Easter event in Baldwin Park. Photo from Justice for Chief Salcedo Facebook page.

It has been five months since Baldwin Park’s Police Chief David Salcedo’s was fired. Now, Salcedo has filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court for $10 million in damages. Salcedo alleges he was discriminated against because he is Hispanic and because he wouldn’t do favors for City Council Member Ricardo Pacheco who asked him to fix a ticket.

Salcedo, 40, claims that in the 49 days that he served as the police chief, he was the victim of discrimination and harassment. Salcedo replaced Mike Taylor, who was fired in 2016.

On April 19 in a closed-door session, the Baldwin Park City Council voted 3-2 to fire David Salcedo. Mayor Manuel Lozano and Council Member Monica Garcia voted against firing Salcedo.

On Wed., May 3 at their regularly scheduled City Council meeting, Lozano discussed the Salcedo’s firing.

“I was not very professional with my colleagues,” Lozano said. “I was disturbed.”

Several Baldwin Park residents showed up to that meeting in support of Salcedo, holding up signs that read, “Justice for Chief Salcedo.”

Salcedo filed the lawsuit filed on Sept. 18, with the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. The complaint for damages includes 14 violations including five Labor Code Violations, a violation of Public Safety Officers, a Violation of the California Constitution, Discrimination in Violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act[FEHA], Harassment in Violation of FEHA, Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation in Violation of FEHA, Failure to Prevent Discrimination and Harassment in Violation of FEHA, and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Sept. 20 that Baldwin Park city officials say the former chief police’s allegations are without merit.

“There were incidents of inappropriate behavior by the former chief that warranted his termination,” Robert Tafoya, Baldwin Park City Attorney, said. “We uncovered he canceled a contract for police helicopter services without the authority of the City Council—a vital protection.”

The Times also reported that Salcedo’s attorney said that the Baldwin Park Police Department has “a pattern and practice of racial discrimination” when it comes to Latinos.

Former Police Chief Lili Hadsell, also sued the city after she was fired in 2013. A trial is pending. Taylor has returned as Salcedo’s replacement.