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$7.5M jury verdict, including $7.2M in punitive damages due to the egregiousness of both the captain’s and police department’s actions

A highly decorated, nearly 20-year veteran, female canine officer at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department experiences egregious and non-stop sexual harassment perpetrated by her immediate supervisor, a Canine/SWAT Department Sergeant. After complaining about the sergeant’s unlawful sexual harassment to both the HR Department and the captain in charge of Canine/SWAT, the female officer’s sergeant (i.e., the sexual harasser) and her captain begin a nearly year-long campaign to get the female officer removed from the department’s Canine Unit. Their unlawful efforts culminate in what the jury ultimately believed was a staged (and mandatory) training exercise whereby the female officer finds herself one-on-one with an uncertified Canine trainer in Forest Park.

During this staged training exercise, the uncertified Canine trainer’s police dog repeatedly attacks the female officer resulting in serious injuries that would, ultimately, force her to retire, not just from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, but from police work entirely. Prior to the female officer’s forced retirement, the Canine/SWAT Department’s captain announces the retirement of the female officer’s long-time K-9 partner—a German Shepherd named Duncan. However, against department policy requiring retired City of St. Louis police dogs to be offered as pets to their most recent police handler (in this case, the female officer), the captain, instead, very publicly gifted Duncan the K-9 to a training center groundskeeper who had not so much as ever even met the dog. Following a jury trial in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis…

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