Local News

Six Officers Sue Police Department

Posted February 12, 1996

— February 13, 1996, 5:07 p.m., EST

Six Durham police officers have filed suit against the city of Durham, its city manager and police chief.

They charge that Police Chief Jackie McNeil has created a hostile environment for women police officers, allowing sexual harassment, punishing those who complained and risking public safety to protect his friends in the department.

The officers, three women and three men, say their goal is to break what they see as a pattern of mismanagement, abuse of power and retaliation.

McNeil declined to comment on the suit, but say his department's record "speaks for itself."

The plaintiffs said they included Durham City Manager Orville Powell in the action because they believe he sanctioned the police chief's actions.

Three years ago two officers filed suit against McNeil charging that he intentionally passed over women for advancement. And in October, 36 officers sued to try to force the city to hear their complaints about a new work schedule McNeil had imposed the previous April

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