A Philadelphia police officer who has made numerous headlines as of late is once again back in the spotlight, this time as a defendant in a federal lawsuit in which a former neighbor claims the officer assaulted her, and then fabricated charges to make it appear as though the plaintiff was the one who was in the wrong.
Officer Deona S. Carter, who works out of the 18th Police District in West Philadelphia, is being sued by Asia Frasier-Kane, a former neighbor of Carter’s who claims the officer assaulted her during an altercation six years ago in front of the plaintiff’s mother’s North 56th Street home.
According to the complaint, which was filed Sept. 27 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by attorneys Leonard G. Villari and Thomas A. Lynam, Frasier-Kane was standing outside of her mother’s house on May 15, 2005, at close to 6 in the evening, when Carter, who at the time lived across the street from the plaintiff, approached Frasier-Kane and accused the woman of calling the officer a “smut,” and making reference to the officer’s alleged drug dealer boyfriend.
Frasier-Kane denied the allegations, but Carter nevertheless began to repeatedly punch and kick Frasier-Kane, before throwing her to the ground, causing the plaintiff’s head and neck to “violently strike” the bumper of a parked car, the lawsuit states.
Carter then placed Frasier-Kane in a chokehold, but the victim was able to escape and run back to her mother’s house, at which time the mother, who had witnessed the attack, called police.
When responding officers arrived, Carter denied the allegations, and instead told them she was the one who had been attacked, and she was simply attempting to subdue Frasier-Kane, the suit alleges.
Frasier-Kane was then placed under arrest and taken in for booking, although she was later released because of the contradictory statements of witnesses involved, including an off duty city cop who told internal affairs investigators that Carter was the one who had started the fight, physically attacking Frasier-Kane “without provocation,” the lawsuit states.
After the incident, Frasier-Kane began to experience neck pain, and had to go to the emergency room for treatment, the suit claims. On May 23, 2005, Frasier-Kane filed a formal complaint against Carter with the police department’s Internal Affairs Division. An investigation later determined that Carter had indeed falsified the police report involving the incident with Frasier-Kane, the suit states.
The officer was soon suspended for 20 days.
However, because the investigation also found that Carter had not been dating a known drug dealer, as was alleged, she was able to remain on the force. Still, Carter continued to “systematically harass and threaten” Frasier-Kane on a regular basis, the lawsuit states, which included threats of bodily harm or even death.
“To intimidate Ms. Frasier-Kane from filing another formal complaint with the Internal Affairs Division or institute formal civil litigation to protect herself, Defendant Carter would specifically tell Ms. Frasier-Kane that ‘You go ahead and say anything else and I’ll get you,’” the complaint alleges.
“Outrageously, Defendant Carter’s statements were followed up and substantiated by regular instances of Defendant Carter pointing her police-issued firearm at Ms. Frasier-Kane and laughing.”
As a result of Carter’s actions, the suit states, Frasier-Kane experienced fear, anxiety and intimidation.
“As a result of Defendants’ actions and inaction, Ms. Frasier-Kane has had to live each day with ongoing and systematic acts of intimidation from Defendant Carter, the fears of losing her personal freedom, fears of physical harm and death, and severe depression,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit, which also names the City of Philadelphia as an additional defendant, contains counts of civil rights violations, malicious prosecution, negligence, assault and battery and false imprisonment.
For each count listed, Frasier-Kane seeks judgment in excess of $150,000, together with attorney’s fees and pre-and-post-judgment interest.
The plaintiff is demanding a jury trial.
This is not the first time Carter has been sued. Last week, the city agreed to pay out $425,000 to settle three other civil rights lawsuits that had been filed against the 29-year-old officer for similar claims of assault and wrongful arrest, according to a report in the Philadelphia Daily News.
Earlier this year, Carter was in the news after a sexy MySpace photo of her surfaced, one in which the officer is seen wearing her police hat. Department investigators were trying to determine whether or not Carter had violated the police department’s social networking policy.
And earlier this month, Carter again made the news, this time as a would-be burglary victim. According to local news reports, Carter encountered a man who was attempting to break into the officer’s vehicle outside of her Overbrook Park home. After confronting the suspect, a struggle ensued, and Carter, who was off duty at the time, was able to reach into the trunk of her car, retrieve a glass vase, and smash the man in the head with it.
The case number for the Frasier-Kane lawsuit is 2:11-cv-06055-LDD.