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Men: Objecting to state police diversity push led to penalty

Michigan State Police arm badge
Michigan State Police

Two white men say they were the victims of illegal retaliation after objecting to efforts to diversify the Michigan State Police. Michael Caldwell and Robert Hahn filed lawsuits in federal court. They said they voiced objections after state police Director Joe Gasper told command officers that the department was "way too white and way too male." Caldwell was eventually demoted and Hahn was fired. State police say they violated policy related to the promotion process. Caldwell and Hahn say racial and gender preferences in public employment violate the state and U.S. constitutions, especially a 2006 state referendum.