An Anchorage Police Department lieutenant became emotional on the witness stand Friday, in a lawsuit alleging the department discriminated and retaliated against minorities.
Day three of trial started with testimony from APD Lt. Nancy Reeder, a former commander in the Metro unit where ex-employees Alvin Kennedy and Eliezer Feliciano -- the plaintiffs in the suit -- worked undercover on drug crimes.
Kennedy and Feliciano accuse the department of racial discrimination and retaliation following their complaints -- and Reeder says she also experienced retaliation following her command in Metro.
She says after Metro was disbanded and she began working in a different unit, she filed complaints about a co-worker. Reeder says she documented the issues on paper, instead of in a computer; she was forced to take a week off work unpaid, discipline she feels was too harsh.
"I was retaliated against because of whatever had happened with Metro," Reeder said. "I don't know if I can ever prove it, but that's how I feel -- I feel like this was the result of the fact that I had been honest, and I had been up-front about things that were said."
The lieutenant gave her testimony in court in front of her current boss, Chief Mark Mew, who sits with the defense.
During cross-examination the Municipality of Anchorage's attorney had Reeder address a different issue brought forward by the plaintiffs: their claim that minorities in the Metro unit faced hostile remarks and actions for the way they dressed.
Attorney Linda Johnson asked Reeder about apparel policies she had implemented as a Metro commander, including an email stating that shorts were not proper work attire.
"Were you addressing this because of the race or racial makeup of your unit? Did that have anything to do with it?" Johnson asked.
"No, it had to do with safety and professionalism," Reeder responded.
The municipality says Metro was ultimately disbanded for not making enough arrests and taking too long to solve crimes.