Kevin Booker, a nine-year-veteran of the Philadelphia police force, has filed a complaint against his own department after officers reportedy harassed him at home and accused him of paying a pizza delivery driver with fake $10 bills.
On Jan. 8, Booker, 54, says he woke up to the sound of someone pounding on his door, but no one was there. Around 12:30 a.m., an hour later, the knocking resumed, this time it was so loud his neighbors woke up. Alarmed, Booker grabbed his .380-caliber handgun and headed to the door.
"I said, 'Who is it?' and I heard someone say, 'Police, open up!'" he told the Philly.com. The officers accused him of using counterfeit money for pizza and a cheesesteak. The officers allegedly forced their way into his home, handcuffed him and threatened to take him to jail before realizing Booker wasn’t the culprit -- he hadn’t even ordered food.
The pizza driver later told detectives that someone had ordered food to Booker’s address, paid with the fake bills at the curb and bolted.
"I said, 'I used to be a police officer,' and the one officer said, 'I don't care. It doesn't matter. You probably got fired anyway,’" Booker said, although he had to retire in 2000 due to an injury.
Because of his treatment, Booker filed a complaint with Internal Affairs and is promising to sue the police force -- he has hired noted civil rights attorney David Rudovsky.
"I think they need to be fired,” Booker said of the police officers. "They didn't do their jobs properly. They violated me."
A lawsuit hasn’t been filed yet, but it could take some time for Internal Affairs to review the case. In 2011, Philly.com found that that the majority of the city’s police districts didn’t follow department policy for filing complaints.
Police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said the officers remain on active duty pending the investigation, reports The Associated Press.