Demoted officer sues commissioner for bias


A Baltimore police officer, who was recently demoted for sexual harassment, has filed a lawsuit charging the police commissioner with discrimination.

The lawsuit was filed by Officer Randy W. Blades, 36, who was demoted on April 20 after a departmental trial board found him guilty of grabbing a 23-year-old female police officer as she was walking by his desk. The woman said the officer pulled her into his lap while making sexual remarks.

Officer Blades is white and police commissioner Edward V. Woods is black. The officer filed a lawsuit in Baltimore Circuit Court on May 1 in which he seeks seeks $200,000 in damages and reinstatement to his former rank of sergeant.

"In the past, and under Commissioner Woods' administration, other black officers, accused of far more serious actions implicating sexual harassment, have received no punishment or lesser punishment than Officer Blades," the lawsuit said.

It goes on to say that "a black, against whom charges of egregious sexual conduct were made, was allowed an unusually lengthy period of time to file for a retirement, rather than face administrative charges."

The suit also claims that the woman who filed the sexual harassment complaint against Officer Blades wrote to the commissioner and asked that Officer Blades not be demoted

"because the punishment was disproportionate."

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