Jury selection begins in lawsuit against Tuscaloosa Police Department

Published: Feb. 8, 2016 at 9:40 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2016 at 1:16 AM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Stephanie Hicks resigned after from the Tuscaloosa Police Department after seven years of service.

Hicks claims in a federal law suit that went to trial Monday, after she had a baby the police department was not willing to accommodate when it came to breast feeding her baby.

Outside the courthouse, about six like-minded women showed their support for Hicks. They held up signs in support of public breastfeeding and they asked drivers to honk their horns if they agreed.

Hicks said in her lawsuit she was demoted from the Narcotics Unit to the Patrol Unit. She asked for a different assignment over concerns that wearing a bullet proof vest would have a negative effect on her breast milk. Hicks also claimed the police department didn't give her a place with privacy to use a breast pump.

Her supporters told WBRC this is part of a larger issue finding acceptance of public breastfeeding.

"We feel like if someone notices you breastfeeding, you're probably looking too long. It's easy to turn your head if you're not comfortable with it. But we're trying to bring awareness to the stigma attached to breastfeeding publicly that way one day maybe our children don't have to face the same thing with their children," said supporter Kristy Woods.

Jury selection in the discrimination lawsuit started Monday. We reached out to the City of Tuscaloosa and they responded that they do not comment on ongoing litigation. Hicks is seeking unspecified damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

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