Lawsuit: Deputy police commissioner ‘stalked’ narcotics captain

A Philadelphia police captain with the Narcotics Unit has filed a discrimination suit against the city of Philadelphia and Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn.

Capt. Debra Frazier, 49, a nearly 23-year force veteran, alleged in a complaint filed Saturday in U.S. District Court that Blackburn continuously texted, called and made sexual advances toward her between June 2008 and March 2011, even going so far as to “stalk” her. Frazier also claims Blackburn created a hostile work environment by treating her differently due to her race, gender and religion.

She said that the alleged misconduct became worse when she attempted to address it. Court documents state that Frazier contacted Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby and filed a complaint with the Police Department Equal Employment Opportunity Unit in March 2011. She also dual filed a separate petition with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the state Human Relations Commissions in April of the same year.

In each grievance, she alleged that Blackburn stared at her buttocks at the gym where they were both members and asked discriminatory questions about her Muslim faith and off-duty religious


She claims that after she protested, Blackburn drove up to her in the gym parking lot and said, “I should run you over,” stated to other supervisors that “he wants me gone” and banned her from her office until she completed a special detail scheduled during her paid vacation time.

Blackburn also allegedly made Frazier the only captain required to appear in person at weekly crime meetings, rather than sending a lieutenant, and the only plainclothes captain required to wear a uniform, once telling her that she “look[ed] cute” in it.

She said the behavior has damaged her economically and caused extreme emotional distress, including “humiliation, embarrassment [and] loss of enjoyment to society and life” and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

A Philadelphia Police Department spokesman declined comment due to the pending litigation.

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