Female police officer files $12 million harassment suit

May 12, 1993|By Norris West | Norris West,Staff Writer

A female Baltimore officer has filed a federal sexual harassment lawsuit seeking $12 million in damages because a male officer allegedly subjected her to lewd comments and gestures.

Officer Ditanya Washington, 24, filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore against Officer William Brown, who she said often acted as her supervisor in the absence of her sergeant.

The state of Maryland, Baltimore's mayor and City Council, city police officials and Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods also were named as defendants. Although the Police Department receives most of its money from the city, it is legally a state agency.

During a recent interview, Officer Washington said the harassment started about July 1990 and escalated over a period of almost three years when they both worked at the Northwestern District.

"He started blowing kisses, licking his tongue in a suggestive way, but I would just ignore him," she said. "Other officers would laugh it off and say that he's just a sick guy."

She said she told Officer Brown that the advances were unwelcome. "It got to the point where my stomach got upset," Officer Washington said.

Yesterday Officer Brown denied that he had harassed Officer Washington, although he said he was aware of an internal police investigation into her complaints.

"I have no idea where she's getting this from," he said.

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