Another former LPD officer files suit against City of Lincoln

Angela Sands
Angela Sands(1011 NOW)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:29 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Another lawsuit has been filed against the City of Lincoln by a former police officer.

Angela Sands, former sergeant and public information officer for the department, filed a nearly 100-page suit against the city this week.

Sands worked for LPD for around 10 years and is a former Nebraska Officer of the Year.

The suit, filed by Sands attorney Kelly Brandon, alleges that she was the victim of discrimination and sexual harassment during her time with the department.

It outlines an alleged culture of misogyny throughout the City of Lincoln and the Lincoln Police Department. Brandon wrote in the suit that Sands could “no longer stay silent”.

It describes a history of incidents, dating back to when Sands started her career in the training academy in 2011.

In the lawsuit, Brandon said that multiple times sexually inappropriate jokes were directed at both Sands and other female officers including references to genitals, rape, and victims of crimes, among other things.

The lawsuit also outlines instances in which other male officers would make light of rape investigations, and would look up driver’s license photos or body camera footage of women they thought were attractive.

The lawsuit also makes allegations that Sands was the victim of sexual assault on multiple occasions by other officers. That included being groped and touched while on the job, as well as at social events that had other officers present.

Sands suffered injuries to her face and was hospitalized after she was shot in a struggle with a suspect in 2015. The lawsuit outlines the aftermath of that incident, superiors suggested to Sands she had not actually been shot and then-Chief Jim Peschong told her to return to work. The lawsuit also says Peschong told Sands that she had to go to a psychologist before she could come back to duty because she was “more emotional” than the other male officers involved.

Sand’s lawyer also wrote that the alleged harassment was not limited to just LPD officers. Court documents also outline allegations against Lincoln City Attorney Yohance Christie. Sand’s lawyer said that Christie, who was a public defender at the time, sent Sands sexually charged text messages and requested that she send him nude photographs of herself.

When asked about the allegation about Christie Thursday, Chief Assistant City Attorney Christopher J. Connolly said they don’t comment on ongoing litigation but that “I want to be clear that the City does not tolerate discrimination or harassment in the workplace. We have strong anti-discrimination policies and work continuously to foster a safe and inclusive workplace.”

The lawsuit also claims the culture within LPD kept officers, like Sands, from reporting any of these instances to higher-ranking officers for fear of discipline or backlash.

It also criticizes current Chief Teresa Ewins’ handling of complaints and says Ewins promoted male officers despite complaints about those officers’ treatment of women.

Sands’ lawsuit is the latest of numerous similar lawsuits that have been filed against the city by former officers.