Judge Speaks Out in Case of Harassed Lesbian Police Officer

A federal judge criticized the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for alleged lax investigation into a harassment case brought by a lesbian police officer against her male colleagues. Elizabeth Bryant, who “came out” to her colleagues in the NYPD in 1997 after holding a public ceremony with her partner in Central Park, testified that other officers refused to ride with her and posted pictures around the precinct of a male bodybuilder with her face pasted over his. The case was settled out of court, but Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rebuked the department on the last day of court proceedings, saying that, if Bryant’s testimony were true, it was “outrageous” that the NYPD did not conduct a full investigation of Bryant’s complaints. Bryant will retire from the police force, but said that the Judge’s response was moving. According to the Associated Press, the judge’s comments could have a great impact, as federal prosecutors are in the midst of an investigation of the NYPD to see if it was complying with a 1998 consent decree in which it agreed to properly investigate sexual harassment claims. For more information on police response to violence against women and gender balance in the police force, visit FMF’s National Center for Women and Policing.


Associated Press _ September 29, 2000

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