Ex-Philly Cop Sues City, Police: I Was Stopped and Frisked Because I’m Black

Herbert Spellman, 51, served on the Philadelphia police force for nearly 20 years. Now he's filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against it.

A former Philadelphia police officer has sued the city and the police department. In his federal civil rights lawsuit, 51-year-old Herbert Spellman says he was stopped and frisked because he’s black. The alleged incident happened in West Oak Lane last Sept. 10th.

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Paul Messing, says the City of Philadelphia of “has, with deliberate indifference, failed to properly train, supervise and discipline PPD officers with respect to constitutional standards and limitations in conducting stops, frisks, searches, detentions and the use of unreasonable force under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.”

Spellman spent nearly 20 years as a police officer. He retired after a driver rammed his police car and sent him to the ER. In an interview with the Daily News last year, Spellman says the two cops hassled him in West Oak Lane, asking him why he was “so far from home” and accusing him of being on drugs.

“It demeans you. It made me feel like I was a piece of meat,” Spellman told the paper. “This is new to me: someone on you, manhandling you. Don’t tell me to ‘shut the fuck up.’ The whole thing shouldn’t have happened. I’m a grown man trying to catch the bus.”

Spellman was not charged after the stop.

[Daily News]