Miami-Dade Cop Says Boss Touched Her Vagina and Department Did Nothing to Help
Photo by AdamFirst via Wikimedia Commons
Things you should never ask your co-workers: If they believe in a Righteous Christian God; if they want to Make America Great Again; if they "have a Brazilian wax." The last one rings especially true if you happen to work as a cop.
In a lawsuit filed last Friday, Miami-Dade Police Ofcr. Krystal Spence says her supervisor, Lt. Anthony Collins, asked her exactly that while subjecting her to a particularly gross stream of harassment. Spence alleges that Collins routinely made lewd comments to her, grabbed her face multiple times and kissed her, followed her into the women's bathroom, emailed Spence's mother asking to date her daughter, and at one point trapped her in his office and touched her vagina.
Spence is now suing Miami-Dade Police for multiple counts of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation. It's the latest in a series of alleged sexual misdeeds at the hands of South Florida's male-dominated police and fire departments.
Spence's lawyer, Jason Remer, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Miami-Dade Police, meanwhile, said they do not comment on active litigation. The Police Benevolent Association, the union representing MDPD officers, declined to comment on Collins' behalf.
Per the lawsuit, Spence started working with Miami-Dade PD in 2006. For the majority of her time as a cop, she says Collins routinely made inappropriate comments to her, including: "I will offer you $300 if you can show me you have a Brazilian wax."
Spence says that as early as 2011, she told her sergeant, Terry Williams, that Collins was making her feel uncomfortable. Williams "never addressed the situation," the suit says.
Instead, she claims the harassment only got worse: In 2012, Spence says Collins "ordered her into his car for a detail," only to grab her face and force the pair to kiss. Spence says she complained again, yet nothing happened.
Spence says Collins continued to take things even further. In 2014, she says Collins texted her the words "Code 5," which meant she had to report to Collins' office at the Northside Police Station, on NW 81st Street just west of I-95. When she arrived, "Collins blocked [her] exiting his office, took both of [her] hands, grabbed [her] face and forced a kiss, then proceeded [to] touch [her] vagina."
When Spence said she wasn't about to have sex with Collins in his office, he allegedly responded: "Well, get the fuck out of my office, then!"
So Spence darted to the women's restroom, only to have Collins allegedly follow in right behind, pleading "Let me see!" Spence darted into a private stall and shut the door — Collins then barged in behind her and tried to bust into the stall.
"Get out!" Spence says she screamed, holding the door closed.
"Let me in, I just want to see it one time," he allegedly responded. The suit says a second police employee, Tatiana Layden, also witnessed the
On November 1, 2014, Spence says the incident was reported to the department's Professional Compliance Bureau. Spence claims internal affairs told her "not to discuss the case."
She says it was then that internal affairs actively tried to "undermine" her complaint: Spence claims internal affairs tried to prolong the investigation until December 2015 to prevent her from contacting the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission or trying to sue.
In addition, internal affairs allegedly claimed to have met with Spence's mother, fellow police Sgt. Brendolyn Spence — the suit, however, says the department straight-up lied, that the meeting never happened.
But Collins did allegedly fess up to his crimes in an email to his supervisors. Per the suit, Collins went to Spence's mother and offered the following non-apology:
"Why won't your daughter go out with me?" he asked. "I was willing to take care of her."
Here's a copy of the complaint: