Two Black female officers with the Kansas City Police Department are suing the KC Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) citing discrimination and a hostile work environment.
Officers Rashawnda Williams and Alexis Bush-Bailey say the BOPC is responsible for their employees’ actions. Because KCPD is under state control, the BOPC, made up of commissioners selected by the governor, oversees the department – not the city.
Williams, who is suing the department for sex discrimination and a hostile work environment, said in the lawsuit that male co-workers often made sexist and racist comments in the workplace around her.
In Williams’ lawsuit, she claims that lies regarding her work performance evaluation resulted in her removal from her position in the Police Athletic League program. She said it made her look like the “angry Black woman.”
Bush-Bailey, who has been at KCPD for more than 20 years is suing the department for age, sex and race discrimination and for a hostile work environment, mostly stemming from her White female supervisor.
Bush-Bailey, who was assigned to the DARE unit, claims unequal treatment compared to other White DARE officers, which she claims resulted in her being forced out of the unit and into a patrol job. She cited instances when she was punished by her White female supervisor when other officers did not receive the same discipline.
Bush-Bailey cited several other grievances about her supervisor that she said she reported to human resources, but claimed the department was unresponsive.
Both lawsuits are filed individually and the first hearings will take place in August.
The lawsuits are the most recent in several lawsuits filed by KCPD Black officers, including one officer who sued the department when he was racially profiled during a traffic stop last year.
KCPD says it does not comment on pending litigation to ensure fairness for all sides.