SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Shanerika Flemings intends to file a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, the City of Shreveport after her profanity-ridden exit statement and subsequent termination in September if no amicable resolution is reached.
Fleming’s attorney, Jill Craft compiled a letter addressed to Shreveport City Council Chairman James Green; Mayor Tom Arceneaux; and City of Shreveport Attorney, Marcus Edwards notifying them of Flemings’s pending lawsuit.
The letter illustrated Flemings’s eight-minute statement before her termination, characterizing Councilman Brooks as making sexually inappropriate comments about Flemings’s body and appearance to which she “clearly communicated to him that they were unwanted.”
Craft begins the letter by stating the firm has been retained by Flemings.
Beginning when Ms. Flemings was hired in February 2013, and continuing thereafter, she was subjected to unwelcome and unabated sex and race-based discrimination/harassment by Councilman Brooks. Shortly after Ms. Flemings was confirmed, in February, 2023, Councilman Brooks boasted to Ms. Flemings that there were a lot of things he could get away with saying while trying to “hit on” African American women that other Caucasian males could not get away with. During that same conversation, Councilman Brooks openly referred to African Americans as “ni**as”, namely that black women need to stop letting ..broke ni**as,’ get in between their legs. This comment was made in the presence of Ms. Flemings and other African Americans, including Councilmembers Bowman and Alan Jackson, and their significant others. Ms. Flemings directly opposed Councilman Brooks’ inappropriate sexual and race-based comments. Ms. Flemings made it clear to Councilman Brooks that his sexual and racist comments were unwanted, inappropriate, and offensive.”Excerpt of letter sent by Shanerika Flemings’ Attorney (edited for our readers)
The letter details Councilmember Brooks continued, “unwanted sexual advances towards Flemings including repeatedly inviting her out, on dates and prepaid exclusive trips and asking if she was going out at night after hours in an effort to make a sexual relationship with her.”
Revealing Brooks made derogatory comments about African Americans, ‘regarding the types of food and drinks they purchased at his club/restaurant,’ and made ‘sex and race-based comments’ that were ‘open, obvious and pervasive in the workplace.’
Ms. Flemings has filed Charges of Discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Louisiana Commission on Human Rights (LCHR).
The letter exposes that the City ‘has knowledge of prior acts’ and ‘refused to take action to remedy the discrimination/harassment in the workplace.’
Flemings’ letter stated as a result the City ‘retaliated/took reprisal against her by making false allegations against her, subjecting her to retaliatory harassment and terminating her’ on September 8 moments after she reported Brooks’s behavior to the City Council during their meeting.
Flemings’ attorney points out the termination violates ‘City Charter Article 2, Section 4.30 and City Council Rules of Procedure, Section 9’ by failing to:
- conduct a private investigation into the alleged complaints against her;
- ordering a public hearing on the charges against Flemings 30 days after the charges were first presented to the mayor in writing;
- give notice of the charges and the public hearing personally or by registered mail;
- affording Flemings the opportunity to require the hearing not to be public;
- affording Flemings the right to be heard, represented by counsel, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and compel production of evidence before and/or at the hearing.
The letter highlights on October 19, the City did not have in its possession any written charges against Flemings or notice related to the charges in her personnel file.
The letter concludes if there is no amicable resolution provided to Flemings in writing she intends to pursue legal action.
Attorney Clark was unavailable to comment, and The City of Shreveport’s Attorney, Marcus Edwards declined to comment due to the nature of the litigation.