Commander Love Sends Detroit Police The Bra Sizes Of All Female Officers

170px-Soutien_des_seine_par_une_brassiere168px-Detroitpd_jpg_w300h250Now this could make for an interesting tort lawsuit. Detroit police officers were surprised this week to get an email from a Commander Dwayne Love that listed the names of female officers and their bra sizes and weight. The email dealt with bullet proof vests and the information was mistakenly included. The question is whether such information could be used as a basis for a tort action.

Since there is more variation among female officers to fit a vest, they were asked to supply their height, weight and bra cup sizes. Assistant Chief James White said that an email was sent out on picking up the vests but “[o]n the third page, the females were listed. Unfortunately and embarrassingly, the cup sizes of the females were listed on that third page, and it was really just a clerical error.”

The email was from Love and was then forwarded to supervisors who forwarded it to officers.

Could weight, height and bra cup sizes constitute an invasion of privacy or the public disclosure of embarrassing private facts?
Under the Second Restatement, citizens may sue for violations of the intrusion upon seclusion:

652B Intrusion Upon Seclusion
One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

Yet, these dimensions can be observed in public though not with accuracy. The injury is tied to the specificity and the official nature of the information. Can such official confirmation take something that can be deduced in public and elevate it to the level of an actionable tort?

What do you think?

31 thoughts on “Commander Love Sends Detroit Police The Bra Sizes Of All Female Officers”

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  2. Texas Police Hit Organic Farm With Massive SWAT Raid

    by Radley Balko

    Posted: 08/15/2013 10:42 pm EDT | Updated: 08/16/2013 8:23 am EDT

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/texas-swat-team-conducts-_n_3764951.html

    Excerpt:

    Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.

    Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including “grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises,” Smith’s statement said. She said the police didn’t produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn’t be identified. According to ABC affiliate WFAA, resident Quinn Eaker was the only person arrested — for outstanding traffic violations.

    The city of Arlington said in a statement that the code citations were issued to the farm following complaints by neighbors, who were “concerned that the conditions” at the farm “interfere with the useful enjoyment of their properties and are detrimental to property values and community appearance.” The police SWAT raid came after “the Arlington Police Department received a number of complaints that the same property owner was cultivating marijuana plants on the premises,” the city’s statement said. “No cultivated marijuana plants were located on the premises,” the statement acknowledged.

    The raid on the Garden of Eden farm appears to be the latest example of police departments using SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics to enforce less serious crimes.

  3. nick spinelli 1, August 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Dredd, If they’re providing athletic supporters and cup then yes, penis size might be pertinent. Can we put you down for a small?
    ===========================
    Size ÆØÅ …

  4. I think there may be a couple of issues that would limit a tort action.

    First is the notion that the act was a mistake and was not deliberately committed. And second is the protection afforded to civil officials regarding mistakes made during the reasonable pursuit of their duties.

    Just like it is tough to have a civil cause of action when bystanders are accidentally hurt when officers fire their guns or crash during a police pursuit.

  5. It seems unlikely to succeed on its own as a matter of harrassment, as harrassment must be suffiiciently severe or pervasive to materially affect the conditions of employment. I think the invasion tort would be difficult as it is observable information. Where I see it coming into play would be as an additional incident (combined with other incidents to be severe or pervasive) or an incident which started a series of harrassing incidents (such as harrassing comments referencing the e-mail itself or the information it contained.

  6. I think it is funny that the name of the officer was Love who sent out that e-mail. Makes one think it may not have been an accident.

  7. The default behavior of most e-Mail clients is to include attachments when the “Forward” option is selected. Reply or Reply-All generally does not. I suspect, but don’t have proof, an e-Mail was forwarded and the sender didn’t realize before-hand the spreadsheet was still attached.

  8. I can understand the concern here, however, Detroit has enough problems at present why add another? Who among us hasn’t mistakenly sent an e-mail to everyone in the company by mistake by clicking the wrong button? I know I certainly have. It’s very easy to do. I think OS hit the nail on the head.

  9. Truly S., I didn’t say anything about “liking it.” I said it was a dumb thing to do, but did not see a tort, and did not see how it could be construed as sexual harassment. Also, I know an awful lot of women who work in law enforcement, and they tend to not get embarrassed easily.

    This kind of thing happens all the time, in different settings. We see where thousands of credit card numbers, trade secrets, confidential memos and the like are sent out accidentally. I am not sure what the answer would be, unless all email client programs had a big flashing “ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SEND THIS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR MAILING LIST” when you click ‘reply all.’

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