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Fiscal Year 2001 Mediation: Insulting, Demeaning and Humiliating Language

The citizen filed a complaint against the subject officer for use of language that was insulting, demeaning and humiliating. The citizen stated that she had been involved in a verbal confrontation with a neighbor when she heard someone calling her name from outside of her house. She opened the door and saw the officer at the bottom of the stairs to her house. The citizen maintained that the officer yelled at her in a commanding voice and ordered her to come downstairs to talk with him regarding the incident. The citizen claimed that she was insulted and embarrassed in the way the officer handled the entire situation. The citizen stated that the officer could have lowered his tone of voice while he was talking to her and could have spoken to her inside of her residence, instead of out on the sidewalk in public view.

During the mediation session, the citizen explained to the officer that although he did not use any profanity or discriminatory language during their conversation near the house, she felt that he could have been less commanding. In turn, the officer explained that due to the physical altercation the citizen had engaged in with her neighbor preceding the verbal confrontation, the officer used a commanding voice in order to control the situation and prevent a further altercation from occurring.

After discussing the matter at length with the officer during the mediation session, the citizen gained a better understanding of police procedures and the perspective of the officer. The citizen willingly agreed to release the officer and the police department from all claims that could arise out of the incident and documented in writing that the officer acted properly in accordance with police procedures.