Former Horry County police officer says department discriminated against him because he’s black, Muslim

A former narcotics officer is suing the Horry County Police Department, asserting the agency discriminated against him because he is a black Muslim.

Daryl Williams, who worked for the department for more than nine years, made three requests to transfer from the patrol division to narcotics, according to the lawsuit, which was moved to federal court this week. Each time, Williams contends, he was passed over for less qualified white, male applicants. That changed when his concerns reached Chief Saundra Rhodes, a black woman, who approved his promotion in June 2014 "over the objections of the Narcotics department," the lawsuit states. But Williams resigned two months later because he faced harassment and discrimination there, according to court filings.

Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier declined to discuss the case, saying the county doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

In court filings, the county has denied Williams’ allegations and asked that the court dismiss the case. The county did, however, confirm that Williams was placed in the narcotics division in June 2014 — two months after the officer was notified that he was being investigated by internal affairs. The nature of that investigation is not outlined in court records, other than Williams’ contention that it stemmed from an anonymous complaint. Williams said in his lawsuit that the police chief told him to disregard the matter because she hadn’t heard of the investigation.