HARRISBURG — A Sewickley man has filed a federal lawsuit against the state police for firing him as a trooper three years ago over his report-writing skills.
William C. Peake, 29, who is black, claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Pittsburgh that he was targeted because of his race and falsely accused of using Ebonics in his incident reports.
According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, Ebonics is a term applied to dialects used by African Americans. It has become a controversial term because many use it to refer to slang and poor English.
Peake, who successfully completed police cadet training May 4, 2009, said in his lawsuit that he was one of only four black graduates of the State Police Training Academy, out of 75 graduates at the time, and the only one assigned to western Pennsylvania.
Peake then began an 18-month probationary tour of duty and was assigned to the Uniontown barracks, according to court documents. Peake said in his lawsuit that he was informed at various times that his report writing was deficient, even though he was awarded two certificates in report-writing training and was told by trainers his communication skills were satisfactory.