KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three former detectives with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department have filed a lawsuit, claiming they were discriminated against during an investigation into the Crimes Against Children Unit.
Gleanice Brown, Tamara Solomon and and Latondra Moore, all Black women, claim that they were targeted for discrimination based on their race and gender when the internal affairs bureau began an investigation into their unit in 2015.
The plaintiffs claim in the lawsuit that they were singled out for harsher punishments than their supervisors and other white, male co-workers in the department.
According to court documents, in January 2016, nearly the entire Crimes Against Children unit was suspended after allegations that cases were not being properly investigated. The detectives were reinstated four days later.
“At all times mentioned herein, defendant KCPD consistently intentionally and strategically leaked confidential and internal findings pertaining to the CAC Unit investigation to the Kansas City Star,” an attorney for the plaintiffs wrote in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that “KCPD recommended that only the African-American women in the CAC Unit should receive harsh discipline, which included administrative leave, losing their detective status, suspension and termination,” while white men in the unit “should only receive minimal, if any, discipline.”
The suit also claims that “defendant KCPD’s supervisors were never suspended or recommended for termination.”
According to the lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Kansas City, Fraternal Order of Police President Sgt. Brad Lemon told Brown on multiple occasions that KCPD recommended that she be terminated and if she didn’t accept her termination, her retirement benefits would be in jeopardy.
Brown later found that her retirement was secure, according to court documents.
The suit also claims that the Fraternal Order of Police refused to represent Solomon in front of the Board of Police Commissioners after she received a notice of suspension from the department.
A spokeswoman for the KCFOP said they have not received a copy of the lawsuit, but if and when that happens, they would still not comment on pending litigation.
A spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department said that as a general matter of practice, the department does not comment on pending civil litigation to ensure the fairest process for all sides in the proceeding.