A veteran sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department is suing the department and its chief for allegedly violating his right to free speech by disciplining him for off-duty social media posts concerning the “glorification'' of gang violence in songs by the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, and other issues.
Sgt. Joel Sydanmaa, a 24-year-LAPD veteran, contends he was wrongly disciplined for “misconduct'' consisting of expressing his opinions, as a private citizen, while off-duty, on his personal social media accounts, about matters of public concern, according to the suit filed late Monday alleging retaliation for exercise of First Amendment rights.
An LAPD spokesman told CNS the department does not comment on pending litigation.
According to the complaint, Sydanmaa was disciplined three times for separate posts on Hussle, the allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and how Japan deals with the practice of Islam. In separate proceedings, the department imposed a one-day suspension and official reprimands.