Former Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Officer Michael Tinsley was unjustly fired after a fellow white female officer accused him of rape.
Tinsley, who is black, says he was fired after a dispute with CMPD Officer Aimee Aquino. Tinsley is now suing the city of Charlotte and CMPD for $1 million on claims of racial discrimination, Spectrum News reports.
Tinsley and Aquino dated for two years while they were both officers with CMPD, but when their relationship began to fall apart, Tinsley called it quits with Aquino in 2013.
Aquino then began to show up to Tinsley’s 911 service calls while he was on duty. Tinsley claims Aquino was stalking him. Tinsley filed a official complaint to his supervisor about the stalking claim regarding Aquino.
On May 7, 2013 CMPD issued a directive for Aquino not to go to Tinsley’s division or office. But on the same day as the directive was issued, Aquino filed a false police report stating that Tinsley had raped her on April 2, 2013.
The rape allegation prompted a full investigation by CMPD. The police department ordered Tinsley and Aquino to turn over their cell phones.
An investigation by CMPD found that Aquino was actually on the phone with another man on the same day and time she said Tinsley raped her. CMPD ruled Aquino’s rape claim unsustainable.
But after 16 years on the force Tinsley was terminated by CMPD in 2013 for using city-issued equipment for personal use. He was also accused of lying during the Aquino rape investigation. Tinsley was not able to find work as a police officer anywhere else; he even went unemployed for years until he was able to find a construction job.
Meanwhile, Aquino was never fired and still works for CMPD. Tinsley says he received harsher punishment based on his race.
Tinsley won a civil suit against Aquino for slander and was awarded $50,000. The city of Charlotte paid for Aquino’s court fees in that case. Tinsley questions why Aquino didn’t have to come out of pocket and why the city paid for her lawyer and settlement judgment.
Tinsley also was awarded $125,000 per his discrimination lawsuit against the city of Charlotte. Tinsley is also seeking $1.5 million in the same suit, a ruling on that hasn’t been determined yet, but it is likely the city of Charlotte will settle.