City of Henderson selects new police chief

Henderson's former Police Chief LaTesha Watson. (Courtesy: City of Henderson)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A former police chief with Henderson Police Department filed a lawsuit against the city Tuesday, claiming racial and gender discrimination.

LaTesha Watson was hired as the HPD police chief in Sept. 2017 and was fired in April 2019 after several complaints were lodged against her alleging harassment within the workplace.

In the lawsuit filed Sept. 22 of this year, Watson claimed she was the one harassed by her colleagues. The complaint alleged "systemic discrimination based upon race and gender" and a "good old boy" network within HPD.

"While the City of Henderson and the Defendants gave Dr. Watson a seat at the table, they did not want her to have a voice," the complaint read.

The complaint also alleged Henderson Police Supervisors Union President Sgt. Kevin Abernathy told officers, "I want this Black [expletive] out of here and we need to find complaints against her." The complaint also said Abernathy encouraged union members to file false complaints against Watson.

"All complaints (against Watson) were investigated and ultimately no violations were found," the complaint read.

In a statement, the city of Henderson denied any wrongdoing and said Watson's allegations only came to light after she was fired.

"Unsubstantiated claims of racism and discrimination were presented by former employee LaTesha Watson only after she was terminated by the City of Henderson on April 11, 2019 for disciplinary reasons. The City has extensive documentation, including investigations by an impartial third-party, that overwhelmingly establish that Ms. Watson’s job performance was unsatisfactory and she was not qualified to lead the Henderson Police Department. Ms. Watson made poor and ineffective leadership decisions and created distrust and division within the organization. The City’s expectations for team members in a leadership role are to demonstrate professionalism and to work by the City’s fundamental values of integrity, collaboration and excellence."

Watson alleged that the HPD allegations against her led to being turned down for multiple jobs in other cities.

According to the lawsuit, Watson is seeking reparations for past or future lost opportunities and any damages relevant to the allegations.

Watson is now the director of Sacramento's Office of Public Safety and Accountability.

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Recommended for you

(13) comments


President Trump 2020!


So they recruited her from Dallas because they are "Racists"? Yeah, okay lady.... What a clown she is, Im glad shes gone.


When you have nothing to justify your innocence of being fired, racism is always the next step.


The leach of hendertucky,that nobody likes !


Of course she did. blacks are taught from birth the victim mentality. Perpetual victimhood. Disgusting.


Waste of time and money hiring she-boons


Did you notice how the word "reparations" made it into her paperwork claims? This will become more common as the new undertow of social justice activism will look to rob the working to give to the Democrat voting.


Jeez, Louise! You & your lil' posse of racist, uninformed, intellectually-challenged pals sure do like to get your jollies here @fox, dont'cha? Once your cult-leader is soundly throttled on Nov. 3 & ultimately becomes the first POTUS ever sent to prison, all this garbage talk on the internets will come to a screeching halt.


Yes, we know Obama and Biden belong in prison, pal. President Trump is going WIN again. Get used to it.


Yes, Obama and Biden belong in PRISON! Get used to it. President Trump is going to win again!


To go to prison, one would first need to break the law. People can't be imprisoned just because of political differences, that is what happens in Communist dictatorships. Thank God we live in America where we are governed by laws and Democracy.


Qwerty, spying on a presidential candidate illegally is breaking the law.


I've heard many versions of that story, which one are you referring to?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.