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Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ten Black female police officers filed a class-action lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Wednesday, alleging they were discriminated against, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The women said they were subject to a culture of race and sex discrimination, a hostile workplace and retaliation when they complained. They also said that the problems have persisted for more than two decades under at least three police chiefs, per the Washington Post.

The big picture: Three of the women said they were forced out of the police department while five others are still on the force, according to NBC. One officer retired this week and another resigned last December.

  • The women said the bullying and harassment was so extreme that it adversely affected their mental and physical health, per CNN.
  • The lawsuit also alleges that the division in charge of addressing such behaviors is run by a man who has repeatedly expressed hostility toward female officers, discredits women who come forward and refused to transfer Black female officers.
  • The women are seeking $100 million in compensatory damages and asking the court to appoint someone to overhaul the MPD to ensure it undergoes structural changes.

Between the lines: Officer Tabatha Knight said she legally recorded some of her meetings with supervisors to protect herself from false accusations, but she was investigated and threatened with a four-week suspension, per CNN.

  • In another instance, one officer said she reported that a male employee from the D.C. government’s Department of General Services knowingly walked in on her while she showered in a female locker room. The lawsuit stated she was put under investigation for instigating the complaint, per The Post.

What they're saying: "While we cannot discuss the specific allegations due to pending litigation, the Metropolitan Police Department is committed to treating all members fairly and equitably throughout our organization," Alaina Gertz, a police spokesperson, said in a statement, per NBC News.

  • "We were labeled as troublemakers, angry Black women, and I'm here to say that we are not angry Black women," Knight said Wednesday at a press conference. "We are tired women and no one should have to endure what we did."

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden admin releases first national strategy to promote gender equality

President Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House in August 2021. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Friday released a 42-page plan to promote gender equality at home and abroad — the first national strategy of its kind.

Why it matters: Women in the U.S. and around the world dealt with an unequal playing field before the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated many of the issues they face, potentially reversing years of progress.

Utah school district ignored widespread racial harassment, DOJ says

The U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington D.C. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Utah school district intentionally ignored racial harassment and abuse for years despite repeated complaints, the Justice Department said this week.

Why it matters: An investigation launched in 2019 revealed "persistent failures to respond to reports of race-based harassment of Black and Asian-American students by district staff and other students," according to the DOJ.

4 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.