WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Three former police cadets are accusing D.C. Police of abuse and retaliation and FOX 5 spoke to some of the women telling their story.
All three former cadets filed suit Tuesday morning, according to their attorney, and they took part in a community meeting at Unity Baptist Church Tuesday night as part of a broader discussion on policing and accusations, specifically from women, against the D.C. police department.
Another lawsuit was filed last month accusing a D.C. police sergeant of retaliating against cadets who did not participate in parties and underage drinking.
The women claim they were retaliated against because they cooperated in an internal investigation against a superior.
"We got pulled to get questioned and I told exactly what I'm telling you to them: ‘I was not there, however, I was invited and this is what I heard,’" former D.C. Police cadet Alice McIntosh said.
"That's when I would say the retaliation started," said former cadet Anari Miller. "Like, I would come to work and walk on eggshells. And I went home, it was very depressing, I remember not eating, not sleeping much. I was pregnant at the time. It took a toll on my pregnancy. It was a lot."
The third former caded involved in this suit says the sergeant threatened her in a phone call, which was recorded.
The attorney representing these three cadets is also representing 10 Black women also suing the department for $100 million, all current and former officers who are alleging a culture of discrimination and harassment.
D.C. Assistant Chief Chanel Dickerson is part of the suit and spoke at the meeting Tuesday night. She is the highest-ranking Black woman in the department.
She shared a deeply personal and disturbing experience she had back when she herself was a cadet.
"When I was 18 years old as a police cadet, I was told I had to have an abortion or be fired from the MPD cadet program," she said. "My choice to have a baby was personal and it should’ve been mine alone and not for an employer ultimatum. Fast forward from that time, I think about my female colleagues when I was promoted to sergeant and it was another sergeant who was promoted with me and she needed a shift that was conducive to taking care of her child as a single mother. Unfortunately, she had to do things no woman should ever have to do to care for her child."
Dickerson went on to share that she does not have any children of her own.
She also said that she has seen people of color disciplined at a disproportionate rate and that she is fighting for fairness and equality for all.
D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee III said he had not seen this latest lawsuit, but it would be something the department would look into.
As far as the prior suit, the department has said they take the allegations seriously and will be reviewing them thoroughly.