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The plaintiffs during a press conference in Houston, May 24. Photo: Noticias Telemundo

Female law enforcement officers in Harris County, Texas, say they were sexually harassed and traumatized when trying to do their jobs, after supervisors in the Police Constable First Precinct created a "booze-fueled playground for sexual exploitation.”

Details: A civil rights lawsuit accuses high-level officers of recruiting young Latina cops to take part in undercover vice stings they were untrained for, under the guise of combatting human trafficking.

Among the allegations:

  • The women were ordered to allow a suspected rapist to sexually abuse one of them in order to arrest him, made to try on dresses in chief deputy Chris Gore’s office, and molested by colleagues posing as johns.
  • One of the plaintiffs says she was fired when she tried to report the abuse to internal affairs and the district attorney’s office.

The big picture: Although diverse police workforces have been shown to strengthen the relationship between communities and police, women, especially women of color, are still underrepresented in law enforcement across the U.S.

  • Department of Justice surveys show women continuously face barriers like hostile work environments, explicit and subtle harassment, and sexism.

The other side: Constable Alan Rosen claims the lawsuit “is an effort to impugn the good reputation of the hard-working men and women” of the precinct.

Go deeper

Sep 2, 2021 - Health

Bumble creates relief fund for people seeking abortions in Texas

Bumble sign. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bumble has created a relief fund to support reproductive rights for people who seek abortions in Texas, the Austin-based online dating platform announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Texas' new abortion ban went into effect on Wednesday, the most restrictive abortion law allowed for enforcement since 1973. It erects significant barriers and expenses for some people in Texas seeking abortions.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

4 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.