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Harassment and retaliation present in one police department

Minnesota law enforcement takes its duty to protect and serve the public seriously. The men and women responsible for upholding the law do so on a daily basis, sometimes even putting themselves in harm's way to keep others safe. It is these officers' job to know regulations inside and out so that they can effectively interpret and enforce protocol in just about any situation. However, it seems that some of those in the police force may find it more difficult to recognize the law when it comes to how they interact with fellow officers.

It has come to light recently that a female police officer may have faced sexual harassment and retaliation from superior officers in her department. The officer claims that she initially attempted to weather the inappropriate behavior of her field training officer because he did have seniority over her and she was concerned about the future of her career. After a year of performing in a hostile working environment, however, the woman allegedly spoke about the issue with another officer.

The female officer contends that it was at this point, when her supervising lieutenant learned of the sexual harassment complaints filed on her behalf, that he began retaliating against her. She claims he was confrontational and verbally abusive toward her.

While the statute of limitation is up for making sexual harassment claims against the training officer, the woman has filed a federal unlawful retaliation suit against the police department. If there is evidence that supervising officers did react inappropriately to her claims of mistreatment, the female officer may indeed have a strong retaliation case.

Source: komonews.com, "Officer sues the Bellevue Police Dept. for 'unlawful retaliation,'" Kristin Drew, March 20, 2013

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