The Los Angeles Times is reporting that LAPD Sgt. Joel Sydanmaa, a 24-year veteran of the department who lives in Orange County, has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the L.A. Police Dept. and the commander-in-chief after being disciplined for derogatory statements he made about the shooting death of Nipsey Hussle, sexual assault victims and Muslims on various Facebook posts.
The LAPD Sgt. says that he has “never done anything improper on the job” yet was disciplined for “expressing his opinions, as a private citizen, while off-duty, on his personal social media accounts, about matters of public concern.” Sydanmaa also claims that the punishment he received was only because his expressed personal opinions “run counter” to the LAPD’s “preferred political stance.”
Sydanmaa’s comments about Muslims in Japan brought-about disciplinary action after a complaint by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in 2015. In 2019, following the shooting death of Nipsey Hussle, the LAPD Sgt tried to paint Nip in a bad light due to alleged gang ties, writing, Nipsey Hussle “perpetuated the criminal gang lifestyle and the anti-police sentiment in this country” in his music. Adding Nip “chose the lifestyle that ultimately killed him.” While arguing with people on social media, Sydanmaa wrote, “Next time you need help, call a Crip. Not 911.”
In response to this, the LAPD suspended him for a day. The LAPD Sgt. is now claiming the one-day suspension took a toll on him, “psychologically, reputationally, and emotionally.”
LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein said the department could not comment on ongoing litigation.