Ex-Officer, Who Waged Years-Long Battle Against LAPD Over Gay Rights, Sentenced in Domestic Violence Case

A retired sergeant who waged a years-long battle against the Los Angeles Police Department over its treatment of gay officers has been sentenced in a domestic violence case, officials announced on Friday.

Mitchell Grobeson speaks at a 1993 news conference. (Credit: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times)

Mitchell Grobeson speaks at a 1993 news conference. (Credit: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times)

Mitchell Gareth Grobeson, 59, pleaded no contest on one misdemeanor count of criminal threats on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He was sentenced to 36 months of summary probation and ordered to continue mental health counseling and surrender all weapons for 10 years.

Grobeson—the first openly gay LAPD officer, according to the Los Angeles Times—was accused of threatening and coercing his husband to leave their home in West Hollywood on March 4, 2016.

The victim called the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for help collecting some of his belongings from the residence, the District Attorney’s Office said. Grobeson then barricaded himself inside the home for about three hours before he surrendered, according to prosecutors.

The Sheriff’s Department said Grobeson was booked on corporal injury on a spouse, according to the L.A. Times.

The paper reported that Grobeson had served for nearly seven years when he sued LAPD in 1988, accusing other officers of forcing him to resign after threats over his sexual orientation. Five years later, he won $770,000 in damages with two other officers and a commitment from the agency to improve its hiring practices and treatment of gay officers.

He filed another lawsuit in 1996, alleging that the department failed to fulfill its promise and that harassment from coworkers continued, the L.A. Times said. Grobeson, who had retired claiming stress disability, reached a settlement with LAPD in 2013.