CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A former Charlotte police officer is taking the department to federal court, claiming racial discrimination.
Michael Tinsley, who is black, says he was fired after a dispute with another officer, who is white.
Tinsley spoke with NBC Charlotte about his case, saying he was unfairly punished because of the color of his skin.
Tinsley served with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, where he served 16 years.
He was terminated six years ago, he says because of his race and the race of the officer he previously dated.
Tinsley has filed a suit in federal court against the department, saying that it discriminated against him when he ended the two year relationship he had with officer Aimee Aquino.
"She was stalking me and I filed a complaint about the stalking to my supervisor," Tinsley said.
That's when Tinsley says she claimed he raped her.
As part of the department's internal investigation, Tinsley and Aquino turned over their cell phones -- but the records showed that Aquino was actually on the phone with another man during the time she says Tinsley raped her.
The department's investigation says it did not find any evidence of a rape. He sued Aquino for slander and was awarded $41,000, but then the department suspended him and moved to have him terminated -- citing improper use of CMPD equipment.
"Once they had my text messages and they saw the allegations against me [weren't] true, they went through the rest of my text messages to pull information out," Tinsley said.
A police review board ruled three to two for Tinsley's termination.
Looking at the bigger picture, Tinsley believes penalties should be more severe for anyone who makes up false information to police -- especially other officers.