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Black women face hardships on levels that some of us will never be able to comprehend, and unfortunately that often includes harassment in the workplace.
Surprisingly enough, the strong Black females of the DC Police Department understand that notion more than expected after filing a class action lawsuit against MPDC, citing racial and sexual discrimination that created a hostile workplace and led to a culture of intimidation.
CNN reports the suit was filed on Wednesday on behalf of 10 women both past and present that’ve served under the Metropolitan Police Department. Adding strength to their argument, each of them have made rank within the department, from one that was honored as police officer of the year, another that currently serves as assistant police chief and nine in total that have at least 15 years of experience.
More on the lawsuit specs, via CNN:
“The women are seeking $100 million in compensatory damages and request a special master to be appointed to overhaul the department’s personnel practices and the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) division, which handles internal complaints about unfair or discriminatory treatment.
According to the lawsuit, each plaintiff complained “multiple times about unfair treatment on the basis of race and gender” either to the department’s EEO officials or to their managers “to no avail.” The bullying and harassment of Black women officers has been so extreme that it has adversely affected their mental and physical health, leaving some of them no other option but to leave the department to protect themselves, the lawsuit says.”
Plaintiff Tabatha Knight made it clear what they’re fighting for, saying during a recent press conference, “We were labeled as troublemakers, angry Black women, and I’m here to say that we are not angry black women,” following up by adding, “We are tired women and no one should have to endure what we did.”
Some of what they had to endure include reports of a white officer pulling his penis out and urinated into a bottle while riding in a police vehicle with a female officer, or one male official that boldly embraced a woman officer by “forcibly putting his tongue in her mouth.” The women in the suit say behavior like this was often brushed off and could put them at odds with the entire department by speaking up.
While many officials are keeping quite as the lawsuit makes it way through certain channels, MPD communications director Dustin Sternbeck says, “while we cannot discuss the specific allegations due to pending litigation, the Metropolitan Police Department is committed to treating all members fairly and equitably throughout our organization. We take these allegations seriously and we will be reviewing them thoroughly and responding accordingly.”
Please pray for our Black women on the force in D.C.
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