October 4, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Lesbians’ lawsuit against police goes to mediation
Metro DC Police, gay news, Washington Blade

Metropolitan Police Department Det. Kennis M. Weeks and Officer Tonia L. Jones charged in a 38-page complaint that they were subjected to discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on their sexual orientation and gender since September 2006. (Washington file Blade photo by Phil Reese)

D.C. government attorneys attended a court-ordered mediation session on Sept. 27 with lawyers representing two lesbian police officers who sued the city in 2011 on grounds of anti-gay discrimination on the job.

Metropolitan Police Department Det. Kennis M. Weeks and Officer Tonia L. Jones charged in a 38-page complaint that they were subjected to discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on their sexual orientation and gender since September 2006.

The two charge in the lawsuit that the discrimination began in 2006 when they disclosed to fellow officers that they were in a same-sex relationship. The lawsuit charges that at least seven sergeants, two lieutenants, and three officers from the Seventh – including Seventh District Commander Joel Maupin – played some role in carrying out the alleged discrimination.

“The parties may submit confidential settlement statements in advance of the mediation but such statements are not required, and in most cases, they are unnecessary,” said U.S. District Court Judge Magistrate Alan Kay in an order calling on the two sides to enter mediation.

Spokespersons for the police and the D.C. Attorney General’s office, which represents city agencies in lawsuits, said they could not comment on pending litigation.

Cathy Harris, an attorney representing Kennis and Jones, said she was hopeful that city attorneys would make a sincere and “realistic” settlement offer that recognizes what she said was the unfair and discriminatory treatment her clients received by fellow police officers and supervisors.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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