A Philadelphia police officer has sued the city, Commissioner Ramsey and others in federal court because she was punished for associating with an alleged criminal - her husband, according to court documents.
Tonya Newbill-Jones claims she was handcuffed, left in the back of a police car for more than three hours, had her house and her body unlawfully searched and her car and home seized because her marriage to her husband fits the department's "overly broad" definiton of "associating with known criminals," the suit said.
In the suit, Newbill-Jones, who never names her husband, says he has never been convicted of a crime. The suit seems to allude that Newbill-Jones' husband was arrested on drug charges, but he was never or has not yet been convicted.
Newbill-Jones, who has worked on the force for 14 years, claims the police department acted against her because she is a black woman. She claims in the suit that white male officers have been arrested, but never convicted of a crime, and yet they remain on the force and other officers are allowed to associate with them.
Newbill-Jones said she was punished in several ways for being married to her husband. She was stripped of her detective position and gun and assigned to the Differential Police Response Unit, which takes reports over the phone for minor crimes, according to the suit. She said she was questioned about her relationship with her husband at the Internal Affairs Bureau, where he was described to her as a person of "ill repute," the suit said. She was also forced to submit to urine and hair drug testing, according to the suit.
She claims that she was pulled over on May 20 for no reason, put in to handcuffs, placed in the back of a police cruiser, had her keys and her car seized and was driven to her home, where she was left in the back of the police car for more than three hours.
Police entered her house that day without a warrant, seized items from her adult son's bedroom and seized her car and and her home, both of which remain seized and are the subject of a forfeiture action by the District Attorney's Office, the suit said.
Newbill-Jones claims she has suffered a loss of about $28,000 and also suffers from emotional stress which has caused her to lose hair, sleep and weight.