With Rank Comes Privilege: With Privilege, Power. Part 5

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Two female officer’s had been called “Losers” by their Captain.  When they asked him what he meant he told them to look in the mirror.

Christa was propositioned by the range officer. She turned him down.  He later ordered her to report to the range office where he told her he had to look at her gun.  He unloaded it took it apart put it back together, all the while telling a story about a woman who had made a sexual harassment complaint about a supervisor.  He then pointed the gun at her and asked her if she understood.  She understood that to mean keep your mouth shut or you’re dead.  When I was new, she told me never to go to the practice range alone, but would not tell me why.  I listened to her.  His nickname was Sgt Friendly.

He was allowed/encouraged to retire after a multitude of complaints about all the minority and women officers being sent back to remedial training even if they passed.

THINGS THAT HAPPENED AFTER WE FILED OUR LAWSUIT IN 2001/RETALIATION

A News crew showed up at one plaintiff’s house after they somehow got her address (she dropped out)

We were followed

City hired D&K to delve into our financials/backgrounds

Trash pulls

Started having trouble with our phone lines at home

Other current/former female employees and spouses wanted to join

One former female employee/officer called and visited our attorney to join.  Shortly after, she received threatening phone calls warning her there’d be trouble if she joined.  This caused our attorneys to feel that their phones were compromised or there was surveillance occurring.  She did not join.

Laura was repeatedly called in by the supervisor and reprimanded for ignoring her phone. She discovered someone was going through her desk, and turning her desk phone ringer off and unplugging her radio charger.

WHILE ALL THIS WAS HAPPENING

My Daughter, Rachael, was getting worse.  She was having hundreds of seizures a day and medication wasn’t helping.  When I needed to take her to the Neurologist, I was told I had one hour. Officers were usually allowed 2 hours for appointments. When the Dr. saw Rachael, it was determined she needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately.  I told the Dr. what had happened at work and that I was going to be in trouble.  She called the hospital social worker who brought me Family Medical Leave Act paperwork.  I thought only pregnant women could use it and only after they burned up all their sick and vacation time (well that’s how the department applied it, but that is not how the Act reads). I had never needed it or used it before.  Information about the Family Medical Leave Act was not posted at the Police Department. Ultimately, I only used it 4-5 days total for Rachael, but they couldn’t write me up for it.

Men who took time off for family or children issues were called great dads, told not to worry if they didn’t have enough banked time.  Fundraisers were held for them and their children.  They had wives at home. They received Officer of the year awards (due to their dedication to their work, not their families).  The union asked other officers to donate vacation time to them if they were running out.  I was a single parent with two daughters, one with Special Needs.  This was never done for me.

I started getting more cases than my partner. They found out I copied our case logs.  They started giving my partner more cases to catch up his numbers with mine. When he came in and saw new cases on his desk he would swear loudly for several minutes.

Because of  all the things we were experiencing our attorney insisted we ask for  injunctive relief.

In response to our testimony about these incidents, the judge mocked us, doubted our honesty, and sanctioned (fined) us.  This emboldened the City even more, so things got worse.  The actual trial had not yet started.  The judge set the sanctions aside until the end of the rest of the trial, just meaning he delayed the enforcement of them.

This was not even the worst…yet…

 

 

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