Female Indy Cop Claims Gender Discrimination

INDIANAPOLIS --

An Indianapolis police officer who fought to keep her job after criminal charges against her were dismissed has filed a lawsuit against the city of Indianapolis.

A grand jury indicted Candi Perry in 2009 on charges of official misconduct and filing a false report. A little more than a month later, charges against Perry were dismissed.

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Candi Perry Lawsuit

Perry fought a recommendation for termination and ultimately returned to work in January 2010.

Perry's attorney, Robert Turner, said attempts to negotiate a settlement with the city have failed.

The suit claims Perry was held in an interrogation room against her will for 10 hours while male officers questioned her about her role in a June 2009 homicide investigation.

In the suit, Perry claims she was subjected to "harassment, slanderous and sexual-based comments and false criminal accusations based upon her gender."

"I didn’t feel bad until the accusations were made that I was having a relationship with the suspect and/or the witness," Perry said.

The officer said her outfit of choice during the interrogation was also questioned.

"I felt degraded when they talked about my clothes, because I dress like that all the time," Perry said. "I want to be a woman when I'm off duty, and for them to tell me I looked like I was walking on the street or out, I felt like that was … wrong."

Turner said officers violated the department's own policies during his client's interrogation.

"She had no rights, even to breaks, which is ridiculous. To not give someone a break if they wanted to go to the restroom, to not give them water or food or a jacket, that is ridiculous," Turner said. "You don't do that in America. That’s Guantanamo Bay stuff,” Turner said.

Perry said she believes she was treated unfairly, in part, because she is attractive.

"Being attractive, I think, is a bonus, except when somebody wants to sleep with you and they don't get what they want," Perry said. "That's exactly what I feel happened."

Perry said it is difficult to watch fellow officers support Officer David Bisard through his fatal DUI case and Jerry Piland through his brutality case because the Fraternal Order of Police refused to support her.

"For me to have gotten turned down without even a thought for any type of assistance and then to see other officers completely 100 percent backed, it does bring up some hurtful feelings," Perry said.

Bill Owensby, president of the police union, said the vote to deny Perry's request for assistance was unanimous or nearly unanimous after members had questions about her case.

City officials had no comment on the suit.

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