“First gay LAPD officer” charged with assaulting husband

Mitchell Grobeson

Mitchell Grobeson Derek de Koff

The self-proclaimed “first gay officer in the LAPD” has been arrested and charged with assault with a firearm and criminal threats after a domestic dispute with his husband.

57-year-old Mitchell Grobeson was arrested late last week after allegedly pointing a handgun at his husband and ordering him to leave their West Hollywood residence. The husband then called the police, leading to a multi-hour standoff between the officers and Grobeson, who later surrendered.

The Los Angeles Times reports that he filed multiple lawsuits that alleged the department discriminated against him because he was gay:

In 1988, at age 29, Grobeson filed a lawsuit against the LAPD, alleging that fellow officers and their superiors forced him to resign following a mix of threats and intimidation over his sexual orientation.

Before resigning from the force in 1988, Grobeson had served for nearly seven years. He alleged in his lawsuit that superiors called him a pejorative term and that he once received a package labeled “AIDS survival kit.”

In February 1993, Grobeson, along with two other officers, won $770,000 in damages and a promise by the department to improve its recruitment, hiring and training of gay officers.

Grobeson filed a second lawsuit against the department in 1996, alleging that the LAPD had failed to carry out the reforms promised in the earlier settlement. He also alleged that officers and supervisors were harassing him on the job after he returned to the department.

Grobeson settled the second lawsuit with the LAPD in 2013. He’s currently being held on $100,000 bail, and faces up to 14 years in state prison.

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