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Exclusive: New details emerge in Newport News Police Dept. discrimination claims

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Newport News, Va. - New details are coming to light in the case involving discrimination claims against the Newport News Police Department (NNPD).

NewsChannel 3 broke the story Wednesday after a former NNPD officer, Keven Underwood, came forward with claims that the department is discriminating against officers.

Specifically, Underwood references his wife, Laila Underwood, who is currently an officer in the department.

Keven Underwood claims his wife was targeted by command staff after filing a sexual harassment complaint against her supervising sergeant.

Now, court records show The Underwoods were recently arrested on domestic assault charges.

Additional court documents also show Laila Underwood may have been having an affair with another former police officer, Nicholas Christopher.

Christopher was shot by police in March, after he was spotted running around a neighborhood wearing a police vest, holding guns, and threatening suicide by cop.

On Thursday, Christopher was arrested in relation to that incident and received several charges including assaulting a law enforcement officer.

In an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 3, Keven Underwood does not deny the claims, but blames his wife’s stress of allegedly being targeted by her superiors on the couple’s recent actions.

“It would cause a lot of discontent between her and I would say, ‘Well, why don’t your report this? Why don’t you report that?’, and I would push on her,” said Keven. “I would say, ‘Something is going to be happen, and it’s going to be bad.’”

He says the sergeant who stalked their home, according to the sexual harassment complaint Laila filed last November 2014, added further stress to their marital life.

“[Laila] would say, ‘but if I [report] that, they’re going to put me here, they’re going to kick me out of this, they’re going to take this away from me. I’ll never get promoted.’ So there was always that fear of retaliation,” Keven told NewsChannel 3 earlier this month

Keven provided NewsChannel 3 with some of Laila’s medical records which show she was granted a Family and Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA) in June 2015. According to the records, Laila’s doctor notes she began suffering from periodic depression and insomnia, and recommend she take one day off per week.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to Newport News police, who declined to comment citing a personnel matter.

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