A Los Angeles police officer is suing the city over claims of sexual harassment and retaliation.
Brenda Nix, a Los Angeles police officer, recently filed a lawsuit against the city over allegations she was sexually harassed and belittled by other officers on the squad. As a result of the treatment, she was eventually “forced out of a coveted position working with the homeless.” In addition to the sexual harassment claims, the suit also alleges she was retaliated against when she spoke up. She is now seeking unspecified damages.
The suit states, “Plaintiff’s male subordinates shunned her, treated her with disrespect, and was regularly insubordinate.”
Nix first joined the LAPD back in 2002. The alleged harassment began in February 2017 and has continued ever since. During that time she has been “subjected to discrimination, harassment, retaliation and a hostile work environment due to her gender and suffered retaliation after she complained about the way she was being treated,” according to the suit. Additionally, the suit argues “Nix’s two supervisors, both sergeants, knew there was an alleged hostile work environment for women, but did not correct the behavior.” When she eventually joined the Homeless Outreach Proactive Engagement Unit, a team tasked with working with the homeless, she was “regularly subjected to an environment that degraded, belittled and objectified women,” according to the suit. The suit further claims “one supervisor referred to females as ‘bitches,’ said or implied he needed to have sexual intercourse with a female supervisor to ‘calm her down,’ and also boasted that he had sex with his female partner.” The same supervisor, the suit claims, also “set the tone that females did not need to be treated with respect within the unit.”
Even though Nix was the highest-ranking officer on the team, many of her co-workers refused to “take commands from a female,” and often “smirked when Nix gave them an order and refused to look her in the eye when speaking with her,” the suit states.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, in April 2017, one of her supervisors invited Nix to “join him on a trip to Las Vegas and asked her to dye her hair blonde because he liked that color.” Then in February 2019, Nix and her partner attempted to “clean up an area of about 40 to 50 homeless people, but she was not assisted when she asked for help.”
Fed up, Nix complained to the HR department, but nothing was done and a report was never written and filed on her behalf. Eventually, the stress got to Nix and she requested a transfer out of the unit. As a result of her treatment, her suit alleges she has “suffered both general and special damages that continue to the present.” She also suffers from anxiety and mental distress.
This isn’t the first time the city has turned a blind eye to sexual harassment. Earlier this fall, an officer sued the city over claims he was subjected to “repeated acts of sexual harassment by a mayoral adviser” while working on Mayor Eric Garcetti’s security detail.