PHOENIX - A police officer is suing her own department because she says they discriminated against her after learning she was pregnant.
Officer Angelique Briggs, who spent more than a decade on the force, alleges in a lawsuit that higher-ups wouldn't grant her a transfer because of the pregnancy, and the stress led to her having a miscarriage.
“It was disheartening. It was demoralizing. It made her angry," Stephen Montoya, Briggs' attorney, said.
Briggs requested a transfer to a new patrol with better hours in March of last year. According to the lawsuit, she was told she was the only one in the system with her seniority and her transfer would take effect in May.
Later, Officer Briggs would learn she was pregnant. After telling several other officers, colleagues came to her to tell her that higher up officials were working to not grant the transfer.
“Apparently, her sergeant believed it would be burdensome to have a pregnant woman on his patrol squad,” Montoya said.
According to the lawsuit, one sergeant told officers he didn't “want a pregnant female on my squad.”
Officer Briggs would ask a sergeant if her transfer would still happen on May 24 and was told it would no longer go into effect. Briggs would then go to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, and after the union became involved, Briggs was granted the transfer on May 25.
The lawsuit alleges the stress created another problem around one week later. On June 2, Officer Briggs had a miscarriage.
“It broke her heart. It broke her husband’s heart. It was a very traumatic experience.”
The lawsuit alleges stress caused by the discrimination led to the miscarriage. But the pregnancy was only seven weeks along, and it could be hard to medically prove the stress caused the miscarriage.
Briggs' lawyer said the case of discrimination will be provable in court, saying, "It’s going to be easy to prove and I’ll tell you why: because her fellow officers are going to testify under oath what their supervisors said.”
The Phoenix Police Department has declined to comment on the lawsuit.