Orlando police officer files discrimination lawsuit

Bulletproof vest, reassignment to lower-paying positions among grievances in lawsuit

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando police officer is suing the police department claiming she's a victim of discrimination.

In the lawsuit filed by Sgt. Rhonda Huckelbery it cites her not wearing her bullet-proof vest because of a medical condition as one of the numerous grievances with OPD.

For 17 of her 25 years at the Orlando Police Department, Huckelbery said she has been excused from wearing a bulletproof vest due to an undisclosed medical condition. In the lawsuit, Huckelbery said the vest causes her "pain and discomfort."

Though Huckleberry has requested a special accommodation she believes OPD's requirement that she turn over medical records and undergo a test of her policing skills is "part of an unrelenting pattern of harassment."

Three years ago, Huckelbery launched a controversial investigation after her husband's credit card was stolen from an Orlando fitness center that led to police shooting and injuring a suspect.

Huckelbery said shortly after the incident, she became the target of discrimination. In her lawsuit, she states she has been reassigned to unfavorable and lower-paying positions within OPD, including her current one as a supervisor at Orlando International Airport.

Huckelbery said she has been assigned "limited duties" until she's able to convince her OPD supervisors she deserves medical exemption to the rules requiring a bulletproof best.

A department spokesman could not comment on the lawsuit, which the agency says they have not yet received. Local 6 was directed to a particular bulletproof vest, which is designed for woman and created by a breast cancer survivor.

An OPD spokesman said the vests have saved thousands of police officers' lives.

Copyright 2013 by ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.