LOS ANGELES – An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who is suing her bosses, used her wedding day to respond to their orders demanding she refrain from posting pictures of weapons to social media.
Officer Toni McBride has filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against LAPD. She amended the complaint against Chief Michel Moore and the department claiming he blocked promotions for her after she refused to remove photos and videos containing firearms and shooting competitions, according to the Los Angeles Times.
McBride’s Instagram account has more than 100,000 followers. However, the account settings are private. She posted photos to the platform last Thursday, two days after the lawsuit was amended, of herself holding a JW3 TTI MPX Taran Tactical 9mm alongside her husband, rebelling against the agency she says discriminated against her based on her sex.
LAPD Officer Toni McBride shares photos from her wedding with her 120,000+ followers on IG. pic.twitter.com/LBGI1MO3r5
— Lexis-Olivier Ray (@ShotOn35mm) June 30, 2023
McBride is a competitive shooter. In her pending civil action she says her superiors’ requests to remove the photos contrasted with the treatment her male colleagues received.
The lawsuit asserts that male LAPD counterparts posted similar content frequently, but received no retaliation, Fox News reported.
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that Moore threatened McBride’s job with an ultimatum that she remove the photos and videos of her gun-related activity or suffer termination.
Officer Toni McBride. (LAPD)
“Chief Moore told Officer McBride that he wanted her to cease posting videos on social media,” the lawsuit says. “He said that Officer McBride needed to ‘choose between being an LAPD officer’ or posting social media videos.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the City of Los Angeles moved to dismiss the suit last month.
“Plaintiff did not, in fact, cite to any post which she ever made which she contends actually constitutes a statement concerning a matter of ‘public concern,'” city attorney Keimer Raymond wrote in court documents.
“If the Court were to accept Plaintiff’s contention that any statement involving ‘gender’ and ‘guns’ is speech concerning a matter of ‘public concern’, then by way of example, photos of LAPD officers in bathing suits holding weapons would be statements of ‘public concern.’”
McBride was involved in a fatal shooting April 22, 2020, which received headlines. She fired upon Daniel Hernandez, 38, who advanced on her with a box cutter knife during a chaotic situation at the scene of a multi-vehicle traffic collision, Law Officer reported at the time.
As you might expect, the Hernandez family later filed a lawsuit. They claimed in the suit that the shooting was unjustified.
The case did not gain much public attention until the death of George Floyd slightly more than a month later.
“McBride joined LAPD as a Reserve Officer in 2016 when she was 18 years old, and became the first & youngest female to complete the Level 2 Reserve Academy and was awarded Top Shot in her class,” according to a 2019 Facebook post from Taran Tactical Innovations.
“When she became 20 1/2 in 2017, she went through the full time LAPD academy and was the youngest one in her class. Once again, she was awarded Top Shot.”
A police use-of-force expert said McBride’s shooting against Hernandez was “a clear-cut justified shooting.”
Ed Obayashi said he was convinced after watching video of the incident that there was “no doubt” that McBride faced “an immediate threat to her life.”
Watch bodycam footage of the OIS below.
WARNING: Graphic video, viewer discretion is advised.
Obayashi said McBride had “no choice” but to end the “threat” when Hernandez advanced, even after he was shot twice.