Court Battles

DC police accused of racial, sex discrimination


Current and former Black female D.C. police officers filed a class-action lawsuit against the Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) on Wednesday, claiming they were subjected to discrimination based on their sex and race. 

The group of 10 women alleged that they experienced an “enterprise-wide culture of race and sex discrimination,” the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, reads. 

“They come together as a class here to describe how the MPD has, for decades, treated Black women police officers with contempt, to the point of systematic psychological abuse,” the suit continues. 

The complaint adds that the officers were met with “intense pervasive retaliation against those who dared to complain about, report or oppose unlawful discrimination.”

The lawsuit describes a male-dominated culture in which officers with more authority sought to “abuse their power to exact petty vengeance on subordinates and make their lives miserable.”

The filing states that all but one of the women involved in the case have at least 15 years of experience. Another officer served for five years and was also recognized as MPD Officer of the Year during that time, according to the lawsuit. 

A spokesperson for the MPD said in a statement to The Hill that the force takes “these allegations seriously.” 

“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,” the spokesperson said.

The officers involved in the lawsuit are seeking $100 million in damages. 

“This lawsuit seeks to ensure that these MPD practices are eradicated for current and future Black women police officers, and to obtain full redress for the Class Representative Plaintiffs and the class members who have been harmed by MPD’s consistent, system-wide pattern, practice and custom of race and gender discrimination and retaliation,” the lawsuit adds.

The Hill has also reached out to the office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) for comment.

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