Consumer Law

Black Officer Says She Was Disciplined Over Her Hairstyle in Lawsuit Against a NJ Police Department

A Black police officer with more than 10 years experience at Maplewood Police Department has filed suit alleging she was wrongly targeted and disciplined after wearing her hair in Bantu knots, a traditional African hairstyle.

Officer Chian Weekes-Rivera filed the suit against the town, its police department and Capt. Peter Kuenzel alleging discrimination in violation of state civil rights laws. In addition, Weekes-Rivera said her immediate supervisors were disciplined for not taking her to task over the hairstyle.

“This shows institutional racism and a willfulness to discriminate,” John Coyle, the attorney representing Weekes-Rivera told NJ Advance Media. “When you look at what institutional racism is, there’s probably no better definition than a police captain disciplining sergeants for not discriminating against an officer.”

Read the source article at NJ.com

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