BOSTON (AP) — A Watertown police detective alleges in a lawsuit that she faced a sexist work environment and also was targeted after speaking up about dangerous conduct by other officers during the search for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Detective Kathleen Donohue filed the employment discrimination lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court in May 2019. She worked for the Watertown Police Department at least since 2003 and was its first female detective, the Boston Herald reported Tuesday.
A judge months ago allowed the lawsuit against the department and police union to move forward.
In her complaint, Donohue described a work environment characterized by sexist comments and stereotypes.
She also described the scene as officers including Donohue closed in around marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013. Multiple officers fired their weapons, but Donohue held her fire as bullets whizzed by her head and hit the ground in front of her, she said in the complaint.
A 2015 state inquiry found some officers used poor weapons discipline and endangered others in the crossfire.
Douglas Louison, an attorney for Watertown, told the Herald, “We deny the allegations and there was never any attempt to bully her.”
Peter Duffy, an attorney for the Watertown police union, would not comment.
The case is moving toward a jury trial, with a March deadline for depositions and discovery to end, court records show.