Video Surveillance of Female Police Officer Locker Room Leads to Lawsuit Settlement

The cameras were used as part of an internal investigation into theft in the locker room.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Police use of video surveillance to investigate theft allegations in a locker room for women officers is at the center of a lawsuit, which was settled on Wednesday.

Four present and former female Battle Creek police officers reached a $52,000 settlement with the city which they will split up amongst themselves, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

The decision to use surveillance cameras in the locker room came after several female officers complained that money and other items were missing or tampered with in the locker room. According to the city, a female officer led the investigation and the camera recorded 27 hours of footage. It led to the firing of a female office, Laurie Gillespie, who was caught on camera going through coats in the locker room and admitted to taking money.

However, some female officers sued for a civil rights violations relating to privacy and citing the Fourth Amendment for unreasonable government intrusion, according to the report.

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According to the city, there was only one instance seen on the video feeds of a female officer in a state of undress. She was briefly seen from the waist up wearing a sports bra.

The plaintiffs and city argued over the legality of installing the cameras as well as whether legal opinion was sought before using them.

The city denied any wrongdoing in the incident and said the search complied with constitutional standards.

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