Chanel Dickerson, an assistant police chief in Washington, DC and one of 10 black women who filed a class action lawsuit against the city last month alleging widespread discrimination, said this week that she, as a cadet, was told she should have an abortion to keep his job.

“My choice to have a baby was personal, and it should have been mine alone and not for an employer’s ultimatum,” Dickerson said Tuesday at a community meeting. “I was told I had to have an abortion or be fired from the MPD cadet program.” She said she was 18 at the time.

It was unclear what happened afterwards, but Dickerson has been in the department since 1988, according to the department’s website.


The Metropolitan Police Department did not respond Thursday to a request for comment on Dickerson’s claim. It said earlier in a statement that it could not comment on pending lawsuits but “is committed to treating all members fairly and equitably throughout our organization.”

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