A former Philadelphia cop has sued her old partner and the city, claiming he held a loaded gun to her head and forced her to beg for her life.
Yolaina Washington-Pope, 36, of West Philadelphia, said Officer William Bailey had a "prior well-known behavioral pattern of threatening others with his service weapon," according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court on Friday and reported Wednesday by the Courthouse News Service.
The alleged incident occurred at 1 a.m. Sept. 24, 2010, as the police partners were patrolling the 18th district in West Philadelphia, according to the complaint. Without provocation, Bailey put the muzzle of his service weapon, a Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol, to Washington-Pope's head, threatened to kill her and demanded she beg for her life, the lawsuit charges.
Bailey, a four-year veteran of the department, later allegedly attributed his behavior to diabetes and low blood sugar, according to the lawsuit.
She accused the city of failing to properly train officers with violent tendencies and ensure their supervisors adequately monitored and disciplined them, according to the lawsuit. The city also failed to train officers to report their medical or psychological conditions and "acted with a deliberate indifference that shocks the conscience" in refusing to remove Bailey from active duty, Washington-Pope said.
Washington-Pope, who joined the force in 2000 but has since resigned, is seeking at least $150,000 in damages for "permanent, lifelong emotional trauma," according to the complaint. She and her attorney, Jonathan M. Cohen, couldn't be reached for comment.
Police spokesman Lt. Raymond Evers said officers must pass a medical screening before joining the force and must apprise the city's employee medical services office of any maladies or medications required while employed. He noted that officers with medical ailments are federally protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Update, 2:45 p.m.: Just spoke with Cohen, who shared a few more details on this case. Washington-Pope was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and had been out of work since the alleged incident, Cohen said. The department in May fired her for "failure to return from a leave of absence," he added. He expects to amend the lawsuit with more details in a filing Thursday.