A lawsuit alleging homophobic slurs by senior officers of the Mountainside police department have caught the attention of Garden State Equality, the New Jersey-based LGTB rights advocacy organization.
“We are awaiting further details but obviously, if this is true, it is disappointing and indicative of a broader need to change the culture. Homophobia in any form, in any place, is unacceptable,” said executive director Christian Fuscarino. “At Garden State Equality, we are working with local law enforcement agencies to establish LGBT polices liaisons so not only is the department a more accepting place of LGBT offices, but also so officers feel comfortable with the LGBT community and vice versa.”
The lawsuit alleges that Andrew Huber and Thomas Murphy would attempt to get other officers to look down at their zippers and yell out “gazer,” insinuating they were gay, if the officers did so.
Six Mountainside police officers filed a lawsuit alleging the borough’s leadership has failed to counteract systematic violations and harassment they claimed to have experienced in the police department – including claims of an officer harassing his fellows and at least one civilian with a sex toy dubbed “Big Blue.”
The suit claims Huber would wave and throw a large blue dildo at people passing by the department’s detective bureau, even after a sexual harassment presentation that warned having a sex toy in the workplace would be grounds for termination.
Huber would also allegedly hide completely naked in a bathroom stall to surprise other male officers who attempted to use the toilet there. Urban, who claims he once fell victim to this form of harassment, said in the suit that the incident left him reluctant to use the bathroom at police headquarters for fear that the incident might repeat itself.
Huber is also accused of standing naked on a bench in the locker room so that his crotch would be eye-level to other officers.
According to the suit, Huber did much of his harassment in the bathroom. He allegedly threw soiled toilet paper at an officer using the urinal, attempted to grab an officer’s genitals and intentionally dropped his towel, so he could bend over and try to touch another officer while doing so.