Judge Rules White Louisville X-Cop Wasn’t Discriminating in Demotion for Using ‘N-Word’

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit of a retired white Louisville police officer who alleges that he faced stark discrimination after using a racial adjective against black people.


Aubrey Gregory, Jr. brought a federal lawsuit against the Louisville Metro government in August after he was demoted from major to lieutenant for using the “n-word” in a training program when two other black men in the room People had used the word without encountering effect.

Federal District Court Judge Claria Horn Bloom dismissed the lawsuit late last month.


“Gregory fails to cite anything that suggests (the police force) to discriminate against the majority,” she wrote.

Court filings describe how Gregory made the offensive statement in May while leading a training for police recruits on racism, sexism, implicit bias, cultural diversity and other related topics.


Upon entering the classroom, Gregory overheard two black men discussing its use. One person involved in the discussion was from Africa and described how he was warned not that the adjective was offensive in the Americas, but that it simply meant “black” in his home country.

The second person, a retired firefighter, replied that the adjective has many meanings in America, in addition to sometimes offensive uses to denote family or kinship. The firefighter then turned to the class of recruits, telling them, “They were going to hear racial adjectives in some communities,” adding that Gregory could confirm because of his previous work.

A federal judge recently threw out a lawsuit by a retired Louisville, Kentucky, police officer accused of reverse racism. Above, a man blocks a road while a police cruiser waits after the Breonna Taylor memorial events on March 13, 2021 in Louisville.
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,[Y]So, you’re going to listen [the racial epithet] out there,” Gregory then said according to the court filing. “Sometimes it means something like family or shared conflict kinship, and sometimes it’s the most derogatory, hateful word you’ll hear; But you’re going to hear it.”


A few days later, Louisville Metro Gov. Human Resources began investigating the incident. In June, Gregory was given a letter of demotion. Gregory, who had worked for the police force since 1999, retired in August.

Gregory’s trial argued that he was illegally selected for sanctions for using the word, while the other men were not. The lawsuit argued that they were denied equal protections under the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, and that their treatment also violated state and federal discrimination laws.

Bloom wrote in his ruling that Gregory had not overcome the necessary legal hurdles, proving that discrimination against majority whites was ongoing. Notably, he provided no evidence that he was actively targeted by the police force.


“Gregory fails to allege any facts which support the existence of a conspiracy among the defendants to deprive him of his rights,” Bloom said in his ruling. “There is no indication in the complaint, nor mention of any conspiracy, or any allegation which can be made as such.”

Chief Erica Shields told the Metro Council Committee on July 20 that Gregory’s use of the “n-word” led to her demotion, report 89.3 WFPL.

“While it may not have been intentional, may not have been directed harmfully at a person, it was not acceptable to someone who was about to be on my command staff,” Shields told Metro Council. “We’ll have to make a more prudent decision on this if we ever want to move this department forward.”

Attorney Thomas Clay, representing Gregory, did not respond to questions from newsweek Sent Wednesday evening.