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”

  1. I have to disagree with some here. I think this could rise to a tort level. Especially if this kind of “mistake” was not the first one. For a Police Commander to make this kind of public mistake is unconscionable. On a side note, what are the odds that the Commander in a case like this is named Love”?!

  2. Otteray Scribe, it may be dumb and careless, but I wonder how you’d like having your jock-strap size spread around in email “by accident.” Or wouldn’t you be concerned unless it was on the “outer ends of the curve”?

  3. I don’t see this as a tort, nor do I see it as sexual harassment. At least it is not sexual harassment until somebody proves it was malicious rather than just dumb and careless. Every once in a while, somebody hits “reply all” rather than just “reply.” My guess is that every living soul who uses email has probably done it.

    I have trouble seeing any real harm. Women who work in law enforcement develop a thick skin, or they don’t last very long in the job. A sense of humor helps too. The only way I could even see much embarrassment would be for those on the outer ends of the curve, with either very small or very large sizes.

  4. Question for the lawyers are this blog; since sexual harassment is typically determined by a very low standard, e.g. if the individual feels harassed, could this be construed as sexual harassment?

  5. Detroit has the money to send out emails???????????????? Too bad the whole city doesn’t just implode!!!

  6. It might be also argued that other informatrion is sent out in spreadsheet form containing other information that lists each officer with individual data. Some departments allow their officers to carry different types of handguns if they conform to certain metrics, usually caliber and that the officer qualifies on it. It is not unusual in this situation at least where I have worked, to send out the entire spreadsheet as an e-mail for everyone to confirm the information, such as pistol Make, Model, Serial Number, and Caliber. Occasionally this spreadsheet was talked about afterward among officers. I was one of only around 4 officers at the department who carried a 9mm pistol where most carried .40 caliber and probably 10 carried .45. Once in a while I would get the old “why do you still carry a 9?” So, any list that is sent out is going to get discussed in some manner.

  7. I think officer safety is number one priority….. If Ill fitting and too tight where’s the protection…. If too big…. Then the safety issue is more paramount…. Balance….. One can pretty much tell….. In Torts there’s 1) a duty, 2) a breach of duty 3) causation and 4) damages…. Embarrassment maybe… What’s the damage claim?

  8. “But several of the women concerned, who say they have been taunted by their male colleagues …”

    Indianapolis Police Department did the same thing back in July 2011.

    It appears that what happened in Detroit is very similar to the “mistake” that occurred in Indianapolis.

    Now, in all fairness, and to give the ladies a chance at also making some money in the office betting pools … jock cup sizes run from pee-wee to XXXL and all officers’ penises should be protected at department expense. Now that’s an attachment worth seeing.

  9. For heaven sake (as grandma would say) check your G-D message BEFORE you hit “send.”

  10. Not sure if applicable: In some ACLU or constitutional lawsuits the term “injury” or “harm” can mean only “violation” – not Webster’s definition of injury or harm or what most jurors would view as harm. That may be one way to go.

    For example: An ACLU client suing for Fourth Amendment injury or Second Amendment injury – without physical harm or monetary harm – to establish legal standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

    There are also federal color of law “pattern & practice” statutes that address the overall culture even if the single act is not a crime.

  11. not being an attorney i have no idea if this should go to trial..i would like to know if the male members were measured for protective jock straps and how many extra super duper large humongous were ordered vs. eh ?

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

  13. I think it could rise to the level of a tort. But, it will need to be a malicious tort in order to not be discharged by the bankruptcy.

  14. I don’t agree this would be successful if it went to trial. There might be at most a grievance that some procedures might be changed more for morale purposes. I don’t know how a woman’s take might be on this issue, or if it falls under any kind of “Reasonable Female” standard.

    Actually I might have a different take on this. I would rather have a confirmation that the vest dimensions were entered into the spreadsheet correctly because an inprooperly fitting vest is uncomfortable at least, and hazardous at worst. And, the vests are rated for five years so it is important it fits correctly. A confirmation e-mail to the officer to confirm their measurements before they are sent to the manufacturer would be reasonable. But, it would make things less controversial if only that officer’s information was sent.

  15. The question is whether such information could be used as a basis for a tort action.”

    It seems to fit the Restatement section quoted.

    What next, sending out penis sizes?

  16. LOL – so no one is brave enough to venture a comment here;
    let me get my butt spanked with the following.

    Even though, arguendo, no officer is likely to risk her (or his!) career with a tort [vexing] litigation on this issue, I’m pondering the title of the stories that shall arise – IF;

    1 – Female officer replies to 3 co-workers; “Don’t you dare tell them their wrong”!

    2 – The listing has 2 of the female officers listed incorrectly and the Captain scratched out the size and wrote in the correct one, with the title of the story being

    Published list of bra sizes corrected by Captains personal knowledge to the contrary!

    I’m just sayin…….

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