My Police Department Vowed to ‘Get Rid’ of Me After I Had My Son, so I Fought Back for Other Female Officers

I loved my job in law enforcement, but I was demeaned, demoted, and discriminated against for choosing to be a mom. I was a police officer and investigator with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force for five years before I was pushed off the job for breastfeeding my son.

In that time I worked my way up in the force, starting as a patrol officer and eventually becoming an undercover agent and training officer. Fewer than ten percent of officers work undercover and train recruits. These were competitive positions and promotions that I worked hard to earn.

I grew up wanting to help people and decided that becoming a police officer was how I would protect my community. In my hometown of Tuscaloosa, I had witnessed firsthand how prescription drug addiction was killing people and ruining lives. I wanted to help.

But when I came back from maternity leave everything changed.

I worked undercover details in narcotics where I focused on prescription drug abuse, investigating who sold drugs like Oxycontin and Adderall on the black market. It was dangerous work, but I loved it and I was good at it.

I also worked as a field training officer in charge of training new recruits. I’d ride with them on patrol until they were fully prepared to go out on their own. I loved teaching them and sharing my passion for the job. It’s an honor to serve your community, and I took great pride in ensuring these new recruits understood this.

In 2012, I found out I was pregnant with my son. Although that meant that I wouldn’t work undercover in a meth lab anymore because of possible health risks from chemical exposure, I could still do my casework, write arrest warrants, and collect evidence. I actively worked until the week I gave birth to my son without any issues. I never had a bad review, and I was never told I didn’t do a good job.

But when I came back from maternity leave everything changed.

My supervisors told me that I seemed "changed" and suggested that it was because I had the "baby blues." Friends and fellow officers overheard them complaining about the length of time I had taken off for maternity leave — the standard 12 weeks — referring to me as a "stupid cunt" and saying they would "find any way" to "get rid of that bitch."

I was demoted to patrol duty, which required me to wear a bulletproof vest. But my doctor advised me that women shouldn’t wear these vests, which are heavy and restrictive, when breastfeeding — we aren’t even supposed to wear a sports bra. Wearing the vest would put me at risk of infection or other medical complications and potentially reduce my supply of breast milk.

Afraid of risking my own life or health or harming my newborn son, I asked for a desk job. The department denied my request even though other officers were routinely given desk duty for other medical reasons. The chief suggested that I either not wear the vest on patrol or wear it more loosely. Both of those options would have been unsafe, and I wasn’t willing to put my life at risk.

I also wasn’t ready to quit breastfeeding altogether.

I struggled with the decision to leave my job because I loved it, and my family depended on the income. I believe women can be good mothers and still go to work. I never intended to be a stay-at-home mom because I love to work and our family needs two salaries to live. But I felt I had no choice but to quit my job in order to keep breastfeeding my newborn son.

I brought my case to court because I didn’t want other women to be forced to choose between feeding their child and keeping their job. I took a stand and fought back on behalf of all women so no other moms would be put in this situation.

My family has made great sacrifices for this fight. We have lost friends and colleagues, suffered great professional harm, and been subject to ridicule, mockery, and retaliation — but I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I was thrilled when the ACLU and the Center for WorkLife Law took interest in my case and filed an amicus brief on behalf of 22 organizations. It confirmed that the struggle was bigger than just my case. My victory in court last week makes clear that the law requires all employers to provide equal accommodations for breastfeeding employees. This is the change working moms in the force have needed.

As the British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst said, “We are here, not because we are law breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law makers.” I’m proud to have played a role in making law that will help other working moms in the police force.

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Kristy Woods

I personally know this wonderful lady. she is a wonderful mother, a great asset to our community and to me and my families life personally. Our local police department put her family through hell for years through continued litigation, when they were so obviously wrong. A mother should never be forced to choose between her family and her job. The police department owes her and her family an apology but we won't hold our breaths.

Anonymous

It's the white boy good ole system. You white people, at least white women, are now experiencing the "racism", in the form of sexism, minorities have suffered for years at your white hands. Good person or not.

ROSE

MY HUSBAND IS BACK AFTER TWO YEARS OF BREAKUP...I AM SO HAPPY
Hello everyone my name is Rose Carmody from Australia, i came across this man called Dr. Ugo Wonders through a Lady here online and she said he helped her bring back her lost love,i don't believe in this but i come to think about it and use faith and hope to contact this man last 2 weeks,i have lost my husband for 2 years even he is trying to get married to another lady in Sydney, Australia..i quickly rush and email Dr. Ugo Wonders for help and i thought its still a freak because i don't really believe he can bring him back to me because its too long we have contacted each other,we only comment on each other status on facebook and when ever he come online he has never talk anything about coming back to me,now i really believe that there is Magic and Dr. Ugo Wonders is a really God sent and has Magic because all these things is still like a dream to me,Dr.Ugo told me in the first mail that everything will be fine,i called him and he assured me. i had so many doubt but now am happy. i can't believe my love broke up with this lady and he is back to me and he can't even explain how everything goes all he said to me is that he want my love back,i am really happy. I cried so much because it was just like i am born a new and am really happy and my entire family are happy for me but they never know whats the secret behind this...i want you all divorce lady or single mother to please contact this man for help and everything will be fine i really guarantee you..i have told 2 of my friends who are in unhappy relationship and they have seen solution in few days ago...if you want to contact him you can reach him through his email at generalspelltemple@gmail.com or his mobile number on +1 386-336-9876 that is where you can get to him and i assure you it gonna work fine with you and you will be happy
i am out of words am just happy and i will be happy forever because i can never have any problem having this man. once again you can contact Dr. Ugo Wonders on generalspelltemple@gmail.com or his mobile number on +1 386-336-9876
Rose is my Name

Anonymous

Anonymous, women have been subjected to sexism for pretty much all of human existence. In fact, black men could vote before any women could, and the constitution protects discrimination by race, but not gender. This is nothing new to women, no matter their color.

Anonymous

Betting most police officers would agree, but it seems that most police departments cannot be reformed from the inside. It likely can only be fundamentally reformed from outside groups like the ACLU, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice or judges.

Anonymous

Having read the story,it certainly looks as if that,as well as others DO in fact have ordinary half-fast officers. Then there is one dedicated,fully evolved woman,who is precisely what we need MORE of in all police departments everywhere...committed to safe guarding the real human rights of all and raising the standards of police officers. Excellent peek into what really goes on behind those closed minds.

Anonymous

So unfortunate, this 2017 after all yet women are constantly faced with being forced off job they love due to unfair treatment of inflexible schedules, lack of transition back on job after having a child, or lack of proper accommodations. Retail mgmt can't even get proper private space to pump, seriously!

ROSE CARMODY

MY HUSBAND IS BACK AFTER TWO YEARS OF BREAKUP...I AM SO HAPPY
Hello everyone my name is Rose Carmody from Australia, i came across this man called Dr. Ugo Wonders through a Lady here online and she said he helped her bring back her lost love,i don't believe in this but i come to think about it and use faith and hope to contact this man last 2 weeks,i have lost my husband for 2 years even he is trying to get married to another lady in Sydney, Australia..i quickly rush and email Dr. Ugo Wonders for help and i thought its still a freak because i don't really believe he can bring him back to me because its too long we have contacted each other,we only comment on each other status on facebook and when ever he come online he has never talk anything about coming back to me,now i really believe that there is Magic and Dr. Ugo Wonders is a really God sent and has Magic because all these things is still like a dream to me,Dr.Ugo told me in the first mail that everything will be fine,i called him and he assured me. i had so many doubt but now am happy. i can't believe my love broke up with this lady and he is back to me and he can't even explain how everything goes all he said to me is that he want my love back,i am really happy. I cried so much because it was just like i am born a new and am really happy and my entire family are happy for me but they never know whats the secret behind this...i want you all divorce lady or single mother to please contact this man for help and everything will be fine i really guarantee you..i have told 2 of my friends who are in unhappy relationship and they have seen solution in few days ago...if you want to contact him you can reach him through his email at generalspelltemple@gmail.com or his mobile number on +1 386-336-9876 that is where you can get to him and i assure you it gonna work fine with you and you will be happy
i am out of words am just happy and i will be happy forever because i can never have any problem having this man. once again you can contact Dr. Ugo Wonders on generalspelltemple@gmail.com or his mobile number on +1 386-336-9876
Rose is my Name

Anonymous

To the person that said we are NOW experiencing racism in the form of sexism...are you kidding me! Women have been experiencing this for YEARS!!! God Bless this woman!

Anonymous

I was really missing my wife when she left me because i cheated on her. I couldn't take care of some situations and i let her slip my arms. I had to talk to my partner at the office who recently reunite with her husband. She told me to get in touch with Dr. Twaha who helped her get her husband back with a love spell. I was very sure of this because Dr. Twaha has helped my partner get her husband back. So I email Dr. Twaha and told him I lost my lover and wanted her back. He encouraged me and told me to be happy. He did the spell and told me my wife will be back after 3 days. I waited for that time and my wife called me and told me that she has forgiven me and ready to take me back in her life. Since then, my wife and I have been enjoying our marriage with our kids. I am very grateful to Dr. Twaha for what he has done for me. I'd advice anyone to ask him for help if you have any relationship problem and some other aspects of life. His email is drtwaha@dr.com or visit his website https://drtwaha01.wixsite.com/drtwahaspell-catser

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