Lesbian Officers Accuse D.C. Police of Discrimination
Two lesbian police officers have filed a bias lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., the Washington Blade reported. The suit, filed in January 2011 by Det. Kennis M. Weeks and Officer Tonia L. Jones, charges the District with creating "an environment in which employees could harass plaintiffs on the basis of their sex and sexual orientation without any investigation or repercussions."
The 38-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleges that the two officers were subjected to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on their sex and sexual orientation, beginning after they disclosed their same-sex relationship to department leadership in 2006.
Acting D.C. City Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) told The Blade he would like to see the case settled out of court by the city's attorney general.
"One would hope the alleged conduct is no longer continuing," Mendelson told The Blade. "And I would hope that the department has gotten better since the time of these allegations."
Implicated in the suit are at least seven sergeants, two lieutenants, and three officers, including the District Commander, who allegedly made frequent derogatory comments about Weeks and Jones. The suit alleges that some sergeants urged the women to have sex with men, propositioning the officers in the presence of fellow supervisors.
The case is still pending and could be settled out of court. A preliminary hearing dismissed some of the specific charges of the suit but upheld the general discrimination and harassment allegation against the department.