News Briefing
Jun 12, 2014 | 740 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City gives cop Morris records

City attorneys have provided police officer N. Melville Jones with a copy of the Police Internal Affairs investigative file relating to the unsolved homicide of Nizah Morris.

Jones, who is gay, is suing the city for pervasive anti-LGBT workplace bias.

Several months ago, he requested the Internal Affairs Morris file to bolster his point that anti-LGBT bias within the department isn’t investigated properly.

But city attorneys declined to provide the file, citing state laws that protect ongoing criminal investigations.

Morris was a transgender woman who sustained a fractured skull in 2002, shortly after a police courtesy ride.

On June 10, city attorneys provided a copy of the Internal Affairs Morris file to Jones, thus avoiding the need for a hearing before Common Pleas Judge Idee C. Fox.

In a related matter, Fox ordered Jones to turn over his medical records to city attorneys by June 22. She also ordered him to submit to a mental-health examination by a doctor of the city’s choice to ascertain whether Jones suffers from any “mental injury, illness or disorder.”

Jones’ attorneys initially declined to turn over his medical records to the city, citing confidentiality concerns. But city attorneys maintained they were entitled to the records.

The officer is seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages, and a non-jury trial is expected in November.

Conference set in bullying case

A federal judge has ordered both sides in an anti-LGBT bullying case to appear for a private conference in August.

In 2012, Thomas Vandergrift filed suit on behalf of his teenage nephew, who allegedly experienced pervasive anti-LGBT bullying in the Pennsauken public-school system.

Earlier this month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider ordered both sides to appear 11 a.m. Aug. 7 in his chambers at the U.S. Courthouse in Camden. In a previous order, Schneider said all factual discovery relating to the case must be completed by Dec. 31.

A jury trial has been requested, but a date hasn’t yet been set.

The child, identified in court papers as D.V., was transferred out of the Pennsauken school district to a private school in 2012.

— Timothy Cwiek

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