Vancouver, Washington – May 22, 2009 — On May 21, 2009, Decorated Vancouver, Washington police officer Christopher Kershaw Filed Suit against the City, City Attorney Theodore Gathe, and Assistant Chief of Police Nannette Kistler, in Clark County Superior Court alleging Discrimination, Retaliation, and Civil Conspiracy.
The lawsuit alleges that Officer Kershaw suffered retaliation for his support of Officer Navin K. Sharma during Sharma’s federal race discrimination lawsuit that settled late last year for $1.65 million. See U.S. District Ct., Western District of Washington, Officer Navin Sharma v. City of Vancouver, et. al., Cause No. C06-5688BHS.
The Complaint alleges that City officials terminated Kershaw for an inadvertent drafting error in a search warrant—the first warrant Officer Kershaw had ever written. The warrant was never served because the resident moved out of the area. After he was fired “Brady notices” were sent to the local criminal defense bar asserting that Kershaw had made “false statements” and that he could no longer be trusted to testify truthfully in court.
The Complaint alleges that Officer Kershaw was one of only seven rank and file officers that were identified as witness testifying on Sharma’s behalf in the earlier federal court lawsuit. The lawsuit asserts that Officers Kershaw and Sharma remain the only two VPD officers that have ever been subject to Brady notices.
Shortly before Kershaw was fired he was awarded the Medal of Valor for rushing in under a hail of gunfire to rescue a wounded officer shot during a hostage stand-off, the Complaint says. Kershaw is a Gulf War veteran and is now re-enlisted in the military.
Officer Kershaw is represented by Vancouver, Washington lawyer Greg Ferguson, and Portland Oregon lawyer Michael Wise.
The lawsuit, filed in Clark County Washington Superior Court, is captioned, Officer Christopher Kershaw v. City of Vancouver, et. al., Cause No. 09-2-02291-1.
Gregory D. Ferguson
Law Offices of Gregory D. Ferguson, PC
1104 Main Street, Suite 216
Vancouver, Washington 98660
Office Phone: 360-906-1167
Michael T. Wise
Michael Wise & Associates, PC
806 SW Broadway Suite 800
Portland, OR 97205-3310
Office Phone: 503-224-8422