2 Ocoee police officers file discrimination lawsuit against department

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OCOEE, Fla. - Two Ocoee police officers accused of shooting into the wrong house earlier this year are suing the department.

The two lawsuits filed last week claim two Hispanic officers had to suffer discrimination and retaliation after reporting to a white supervisor on accusations of wrongdoing.

One of the officers said it was because of her race and a report she made about a lieutenant.

“They came and got my guns, my badge, my uniform and my car,” said former Officer Stephanie Roberts.

After spending 8 1/2 years as an Ocoee police officer, Roberts lost her job last week, one day after filing the lawsuit for discrimination.

She and another Hispanic officer, Carlos Anglero, remain under investigation for opening fire when the homeowner grabbed a gun after being dispatched to the wrong home in February.

But she said that's not what led to her termination.

Roberts filed a grievance about overtime and won, but the department claims she was not "truthful."

Her attorney said what's really happening is discrimination.

Ocoee police is 14 percent Hispanic and 74 percent white.

Roberts and Anglero accused former Ocoee police Lt. Brad Dreasher of working with gang members to provide protection, in exchange for drugs, money and pills.

The department did not internally investigate those claims, and said the FBI was looking into the allegations.

They also did not investigate a "threatening letter" Anglero received from the KKK.

Ocoee police said that incident is several years old and was halted when Anglero and another employee refused to give DNA for the case.

But the two Hispanic officers said the department's investigations are selective and discriminatory.

“There's a culture of protect and cover and not flesh things out and let the chips fall where they may,” attorney Jerry Girley said.

Because Roberts’ termination came a day after the suit was filed, her attorney believes it was retaliation and plans to amend the suit.

The department claims it didn't know about the suit until Channel 9 reached out to the Ocoee Police Department.