SEATTLE — A Black woman who has worked for decades as a Seattle police officer filed a $10 million claim with the city against its Police Department on Friday, alleging racial and gender discrimination.
Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin says in the claim that she has faced daily discrimination during her 43 years with the department, including instances her loyalty was questioned because of her relationships in Seattle’s communities of color.
The claim was filed by Bouldin’s lawyer, James Bible, a former chairman of the King County NAACP, The Seattle Times reported. The city has 60 days to respond, and if the claim is denied, Bouldin can file a lawsuit.
The police department referred questions from the newspaper to the City Attorney’s Office, which said it had not yet seen the claim and declined to comment.
Bouldin, 67, has been a prominent police officer in the diverse South Precinct, where she has taught children to play chess and build relationships. A Rainier Beach neighborhood park named for her opened last year.
Bouldin alleges a hostile work environment including overtly racist remarks by white supervisors and being ordered to perform menial tasks that were “degrading, humiliating and (with) racist overtones.”
“She files this claim for damages in hopes that the department will authentically address issues related to the racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination she has faced in her career,” the complaint reads. “She notes that the hostile work environment she has been subjected to has increased dramatically in recent years.”