A former Baltimore Police Department detective filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the department, the former police commissioner and his supervisor on Dec. 22 in federal court in Baltimore. The detective, who reported an assault on a drug suspect by two fellow officers to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office in 2012, alleges that his fellow officers began a pattern of harassment, threats and retaliation against him when he agreed to testify against the two officers at their subsequent trial.
The detective testified against the officers, both of whom were found guilty. According to the detective, a drug suspect ran from police who witnessed him participating in a drug deal. When he fled, he ran into an apartment in which one of the officers’ girlfriends lived. After the suspect was arrested and being transported to jail, one of the guilty officers allegedly turned the vehicle around, taking the man to where the other guilty officer was. Both then beat the man.
The detective’s suit alleges several forms of harassment, including putting a dead rat in his desk, failing to provide backup officers when he was responding to dangerous calls, including making arrests in dangerous drug deals and an intolerable and unsafe work environment. He is seeking $2.5 million in damages. According to the detective’s civil lawsuit, both men are still employed with the police department, although a spokesman refused to confirm that. The detective resigned from his job, reportedly out of fear.
Whistle-blower laws are in place to protect workers who alert authorities about illegal and wrongful actions taking place at their workplace. The laws prohibit retaliation against an employee who notifies officials about illegal actions. Such claims often involve significant investigation prior to their being filed, and many people who are in these situations seek the advice and counsel of an employment law attorney.
Source: CBS DC, “ Ex-Baltimore Officer Files Whistleblower Lawsuit“, December 26, 2014