Monday, August 15, 2022

D.C. Assistant Police Chief Was Told to ‘Have an Abortion or Be Fired’

Chanel Dickerson via Twitter
Chanel Dickerson via Twitter

*Chanel Dickerson, D.C.’s assistant police chief, is speaking out about a disturbing moment early in her career when she was told to get an abortion or lose her job with Metropolitan Police Department.

“When I was 18-years-old as a police cadet, I was told I had to have an abortion or be fired from the MPD cadet program,” Chanel Dickerson said during a community meeting Tuesday, as reported by Complex. “Wow. My choice to have a baby was personal and it should’ve been mine alone and not for an employer ultimatum.”

“Fast forward from that time, I think about how my female colleagues, when I was promoted to sergeant. And it was another sergeant who was promoted with me and she needed a shift that was conducive to taking care of her child as a single mother. Unfortunately, she had to do things no woman should ever have to do to care for her child.”

Dickerson, who is the highest-ranking Black woman at the police department, is one of 10 women suing the MPD for $100,000 as part of a discrimination lawsuit, FOX 5 reports. 

READ MORE: Black Female Firefighter Suing City in Florida Over Mural Depicting Her as White [VIDEO]

Here’s more from Complex:

The plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit are a mix of current and former female D.C. officers, all of whom are Black. The suit also alleges some of the women endured mistreatment and retilation after they cooperated with an internal investigation of one of their superiors. Shortly after Dickerson made the claims, D.C. officer Karen Arikpo came forward with her own allegations against MPD. Arikpo, who has worked in law enforcement for 24 years, said she was also told to terminate her pregnancy while she was a recruit in the police academy in 1997.

“I thought I could hide it. Just get through the academy and hide it,” she told FOX 5 about the pregnancy. After Arikpo told a female sergeant that she was pregnant, she was told to terminate the pregnancy. 

“So later that day, I went and told my class sergeant that I was pregnant,” Arikpo recalled. “And she said I needed to have an abortion and she referred me to a doctor in D.C. to get it done.”

Arikpo chose her career over motherhood and decided to have an abortion. She has since struggled to get pregnant. 

“It’s so unfair. And now I’ve never been able to have a kid. All these years, I’ve tried and I’ve never been able to have a baby,” she said.

“I did this for a job,” she added. “And then to want kids and can’t have them. How do you tell people that?”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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