Three Black women working at the Pierce County Jail won a settlement of $1 million for a lawsuit accusing the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department of extensive racism and sexism, according to NBC affiliate King 5. The women were three of the 12 Black women who work at the department out of the 689 workers.
Lt. Charla James-Hutchison, Sgt. Dione Alexander and Sgt. Sabrina Braswell-Bouyer filed a suit March 18, 2021 claiming the county sheriff’s department participated in and ignored racial harassment and gender discrimination. The three alleged this behavior only allowed the “culture of animosity towards African Americans” to fester and grow within their work environment.
Attorney Meaghan M. Driscoll said uses of the N-word and references to “shooting or running over” protestors were just a few examples of the issues the three women faced, per King 5.
More on the case from King 5:
Driscoll said the three women tried to notify their superiors of their treatment at the Pierce County Jail, but their complaints were ignored. The officers’ lawyer said this was a common occurrence for the sheriff department’s Black employees.
“When an African American employee files a complaint, it might sit there for a year before it’s even addressed or investigated,” Driscoll said. “When a Caucasian employee files a complaint, it’s addressed immediately.”
What number lawsuit is this? All over the country police departments have been reported or sued for allowing their employees to loudly and proudly be racist. This is also the reason some critics didn’t favor Biden’s executive order on police reform because they see more issues on the state level than the federal level.
Driscoll suggested the Piece County Sheriff’s Department consider implementing more training and heavier supervision as well as investigating internal complaints. Though, the same people making the racist/sexist jokes could be the same ones in charge of investigating these reports in the first place.