Karen Ervin, Brandy Smith, Diana Walker : “Lawsuit Alleges MPD Devalues Black Women, Fosters Culture of Harassment and Retaliation”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is facing a lawsuit filed by three Black women who allege that they have been devalued, marginalized, and subjected to a toxic work environment. The lawsuit, filed by Karen Ervin, Brandy Smith, and Diana Walker, outlines numerous allegations of sexual harassment, mistreatment, bullying, and retaliation within the department.

According to the lawsuit, MPD has created a culture that discourages employees from reporting misconduct by male officers, while simultaneously allowing systematic bullying and retaliation to occur. The plaintiffs claim that the department’s leadership, including Alphonso Lee, head of MPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity Department, has failed to protect workers from harassment and abuse.

The women accuse Lee of being “profoundly misogynistic” and exhibiting a particular disdain for Black women. They further claim that he manipulated and interceded in investigations to ensure that allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment were never substantiated. The lawsuit also alleges that Black women are at the bottom of the “social echelon” at MPD, with courtesies and considerations given to white women or Black men not extended to them.

The lawsuit details instances of inappropriate behavior by superior officers, including one tragic case where a Black female officer who reported sexual harassment ultimately took her own life. The plaintiffs argue that MPD has created an environment where abusers can get away with harassment as long as they do it in private or when their victims are alone.

In March, a cultural assessment of the MPD workplace recommended addressing the culture of retaliation that both sworn and non-sworn personnel had attested to. The report called for an immediate and thorough audit of the Equal Employment Opportunity department.

The three women are seeking compensatory damages of $1,000,000 each for their claims, with Karen Ervin requesting no less than $300,000 for each of her claims.

MPD has declined to comment on the pending litigation. The lawsuit highlights the urgent need for the department to address the allegations and create a safe and inclusive work environment for all employees.

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