First black female police captain sues New Haven Police Department three months after promotion

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Police Capt. Patricia Helliger is suing the New Haven Police Department less than three months after her historic promotion as the first black female police captain.

According to the New Haven Register News, Helliger claims that, despite her promotion, she has continued to be subjected to racial and gender discrimination.

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Helliger alleges that her promotion to captain was delayed because of her race and gender and that, what’s more, her promotion did little to stop the discrimination that she was facing.

“I think it’s kind of ironic that the city celebrates its first African-American female police captain, but at the same time, she gets treated so badly, even after she was promoted,” said East Haven attorney Patricia A. Cofrancesco.

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Although police spokesman Officer David Hartman declined to comment specifically on the suit, he did not that the police department itself had been working on broader measures in order to improve its diversity, including taking steps to hire more minorities and to work on its outreach.