FERGUSON, MISSOURI – The most unique aspect of our Republic is the idea that even monsters deserve full protection under the laws. Kim Tihen, an ex-Ferguson police officer, and by all standards of morality a vicious criminal, is now suing the city of Ferguson, along with Mayor Robert Doerr, Police Chief Jeremy Ihler, and the city clerk for discrimination based on her gender. In 2009, Tihen participated in the heinous beating of Henry Davis, an inmate at the Ferguson County Jail. Now, years after her shockingly lawful actions, Tihen claims the city of Ferguson, specifically, Mayor Doerr, repeatedly critiqued her looks and insisted she smiles more, which generally constitutes gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to the suit, Mayor Doerr often told Kim that he did not like her hairstyle, nor did he like the fact that she didn’t always smile while working as a police detective. After years of dealing with his discriminatory conduct, Tihen reported the incidents to her supervisor, Police Chief Ihler, but Ihler refused to do anything. Tihen eventually filed a complaint with the city only to be met with physical intimidation from Doerr as retaliation for her complaints.

Eventually the situation became unbearable, and as a result, Tihen was constructively terminated from her position. According to her suit, collectively, the Defendants engaged in illegal discrimination against Tihen because of her gender, which is illegal under Title VII.

Back in 2009, Tihen was one of four officers who brutally assaulted 52-year old Henry Davis because he requested a sleeping mat for his cold, hard jail cell. Officers mistook Davis for another individual and took it upon themselves to teach him a lesson. According to Davis’ suit, Tihen straddled him while he was down and lifted his head so other officers could kick him in the face. Tihen contends that she never held him down, but does admit to punching him three to four times in the back of the head with her handcuffs in an attempt to get Davis to comply with her vague commands. After the incident, Davis was charged with property damage because he got blood on the Officer’s uniforms. Davis’ civil suit and appeal were eventually rejected by Courts and Tihen was elected to the Ferguson City Council in 2012 where she served a three-year term.

In America, even the most vial of individuals are protected under the laws. Despite Tihen’s violent past, which garnered no consequences for her actions, she is still afforded full protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual because of their gender. Comments such as “you should smile more” and “you should wear a more feminine hairstyle” can create a prima facie case of gender discrimination, warranting a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the Federal agency charged with handling claims of discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The dedicated New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC have years of experience handling claims of gender discrimination. If you feel like you have been discriminated against at work because of your gender, please give us a call toll-free at 800-807-2209.

About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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