United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant the Baltimore City
Police Department's (“BPD”) Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 43). The Motion is ripe for
disposition, and no is hearing necessary. See Local
Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons outlined below, the
Court will grant the Motion.
employed Santiago, a Hispanic man, as a police officer since
February 25, 2003. (2d Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, ECF No.
20). From 2004 to 2010, Santiago worked as a narcotics
detective and received several citations and awards for his
performance. (Id. ¶¶ 8- 9). Around October
of 2010, BPD transferred Santiago to uniform patrol because
too many individuals whose money and property he had seized
filed complaints against him. (Id.¶¶
10-11). On June 22, 2011, while on uniform patrol, Santiago
searched a car during a traffic stop and confiscated a
handgun, marijuana, $430 in cash, and an iPhone.
(Id. ¶¶ 13- 14). Instead of following BPD
policy, which required him to submit the items to the
Evidence Control Unit, Santiago placed the cash and iPhone in
a cabinet. (Id. ¶¶ 14-15). When the owner
of the cash and iPhone came to the police station to get them
back, Santiago contacted his supervisor, who instructed him
to submit the property to the Evidence Control Unit.
(Id. ¶ 15).
incident was reported to BPD's Internal Affairs Division,
which began an investigation. (Santiago Dep. 101:6-14, Feb.
8, 2017, ECF No. 43-4). After its investigation, Internal
Affairs sustained the allegations and referred the incident
to a Charging Committee. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 17). The
Charging Committee then issued charges of conduct unbecoming
of an officer, knowingly making a false statement,
intentional violation of a law, unsatisfactory performance,
failing to act with integrity, and mishandling property
against Santiago. (Id. ¶¶ 17-18).
9, 2012-while his charges were still pending-Santiago took
the Police Sergeants Examination for Baltimore City, after
which he placed 46th out of 218 officers eligible for
promotion from October 22, 2012 to October 21, 2014.
(Id. ¶ 28). According to Baltimore City Code of
Public Local Laws § 16-10(c), the Commissioner must
consider the top five scoring applicants from the examination
list when promoting officers to the rank of Sergeant.
(Id. ¶ 29). The four applicants who are skipped
over for a particular appointment to Sergeant remain in the
group of five for the next appointment. (Id.). BPD
policy, however, does not permit the Commissioner to consider
applicants who have an Internal Affairs investigation
pending. (Pl.'s Opp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 4 at 3, ECF No.
53-4). The Commissioner passed over Santiago for the
promotion to Sergeant. (Id. ¶¶ 30, 32).
Santiago believed the Commissioner passed over him because of
his pending disciplinary charges. (Id. ¶ 30).
November 6, 2013, a panel of three officers on the
Departmental Trial Board heard the charges against Santiago.
(Id. ¶ 21). Santiago pled guilty to the
mishandling property charge. (Id.). The Trial Board
acquitted Santiago of the remaining charges. (Id.).
on March 12, 2014, the Commissioner issued a final order
suspending Santiago for thirty days without pay and requiring
him to sign a severe letter of reprimand. (Id.
¶¶ 24-25). On April 1, 2014, Santiago signed the
letter. (Id. ¶ 31). The Commissioner continued
to pass over Santiago for the promotion to Sergeant through
October 21, 2014, even though Santiago was in the group of
five. (Id. ¶ 32). Meanwhile, Candidate 6,
non-Hispanic officer who was in the same group of five as
Santiago, was promoted to Sergeant during this period despite
having an Internal Affairs investigation pending.
(Id.; Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. [“Def.'s
Mot.”] Ex. 22, ECF No. 44-9). Santiago believes he was
not promoted because of his race. (Id. ¶ 34).
August 12, 2014, Santiago filed a charge of discrimination
with the Baltimore Community Relations Commission and the
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”). (Id. ¶ 6). On September
10, 2015, the EEOC issued a right to sue letter to Santiago.
(Id. ¶ 7). On December 7, 2015, Santiago filed
a Complaint against BPD alleging employment discrimination in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(“Title VII”), as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§
2000e et seq. (2018). (Compl. ¶ 35, ECF No. 1).
On February 6, 2016, Santiago filed an Amended Complaint,
(ECF No. 5), and on June 10, 2016, he filed a Second Amended
Complaint, (ECF No. 20). Santiago seeks damages and
declaratory and injunctive relief. (Id. ¶ 36).
moves for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56(a), filing its Motion on June 5, 2017. (ECF No.
43). Santiago filed an Opposition on June 30, 2017. (ECF No.
52). BPD filed a Reply on July 31, 2017. (ECF No. 57).
Standard of Review
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the
facts in a light most favorable to the nonmovant, drawing all
justifiable inferences in that party's favor. Ricci
v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557, 586 (2009); Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing
Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144,
158-59 (1970)). Summary judgment is proper when the movant
demonstrates, through “particular parts of materials in
the record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
. . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials,
” that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), (c)(1)(A).
Significantly, a party must be able to present the materials
it cites in “a form that would be admissible in
evidence, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2), and supporting
affidavits and declarations “must be made on personal
knowledge” and “set out facts that would be
admissible in evidence, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4).
motion for summary judgment is properly made and supported,
the burden shifts to the nonmovant to identify evidence
showing there is genuine dispute of material fact. See
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475
U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). The nonmovant cannot create a
genuine dispute of material fact “through mere
speculation or the building of one inference upon
another.” Othent ...