An African-American corrections technician who claimed she was subject to stress and racial harassment after she complained about a coworker's "Blue Lives Matter" flag and after she put up photos of suspects killed by police has settled her lawsuit with an Oregon county, her attorney said Friday. The county is paying her $100,000.
In a lawsuit filed in January 2019, Karimah Guion-Pledgure says she and other black coworkers initially complained when a probation officer hung a "Blue Lives Matter" flag in the workplace in 2017.
Guion-Pledgure, who had been with the county since 2011, maintains that the Blue Lives Matter (also known as the Thin Blue Line) flag "co-opts" the Black Lives Matter movement's slogan, and "repurposes it to shift focus to law enforcement — a chosen profession, not a racial identity — and thus denigrates, dilutes, and demeans the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement," according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by CNN.
Guion-Pledgure complained to supervisors in late 2017 and early 2018 and voiced her objections about the flag with the Multnomah County chief operating officer in April 2018, according to the complaint.
Guion-Pledgure went on leave in July 2018 due to health issues she says were caused by those events, according to the complaint. She initially sought $20,000 in lost wages and $400,000 for emotional distress and suffering.