PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A former Philadelphia police officer claims in court that her police partner put the muzzle of his loaded, police-issued pistol to her head, and forced her “to beg for her life.”
Yolaina Washington-Pope sued Officer William Bailey (Badge No. 3040), and the City of Philadelphia, in Federal Court.
(A police spokesperson said there is more than one William Bailey on the force.)
Washington-Pope claims that in September 2010, defendant Bailey put his loaded Glock 19 semi-automatic service pistol to her head “without any provocation or justification whatsoever” and, with his finger on or near the trigger, threatened to shoot her.
She claims that Bailey had a checkered workplace history, and the city knew it.
“Prior to the subject incident, defendant, City of Philadelphia knew Officer Bailey had repeatedly violated official police directives and policies, including … those regarding use of his weapon and the violation of citizen’s rights, and had improperly and dangerously used his authority and/or his service weapon and had been chased by a supervisor and relieved of his weapon by The City, only to have it quickly returned,” the complaint states.
Washington-Pope claims that Bailey had told members of the Philadelphia Police Department that he was diabetic, and the city “accepted that Officer Bailey’s misuse of his authority and/or service weapon was caused by his diabetes.”
Washington-Pope accuses the city of failing to properly train its police officers to self-report their medical or psychological conditions and failing to adequately deal with officers who are prone to missing their meds.
In a telephone interview, Washington-Pope’s attorney, Jonathan Cohen, said Bailey was involved in “bizarre conduct in the past where he had actually been relieved of his weapon.” The attorney declined to elaborate, saying he did not have certain documentation handy.
Cohen said Washington-Pope quit because of the ordeal.
“She’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder,” which she suffers when she’s around uniformed police officers, Cohen said.
The attorney added that in a related workers’ compensation proceeding, “the city actually claimed in a filing that there was nothing extraordinary about what happened here.”
Bailey remains an active police officer, a Police Department spokesperson said.
Washington-Pope seeks compensatory and punitive damages for civil rights violations.