Two Black women sued the city of Denver on Wednesday over allegations that members of the Denver Fire Department systematically discriminated against them both because of their gender and their race.
Da Lesha Allen and Charmaine Cassie say they unfairly faced tougher standards and stricter scrutiny than their white male colleagues, and that colleagues and supervisors made racist comments about their hair and bodies and applied racist stereotypes to the women after they joined the department in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
One fire captain told Cassie that she would struggle to get through the fire department’s training program because of the department’s culture, and said that she should “keep her head down and act like a slave” in order to graduate from the training, according to the lawsuit.
A lieutenant commented several times on Cassie’s body, including declaring that she had a “big butt,” according to the federal lawsuit. In