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Suit: Top cop made racial slur, assaulted officer

A Colwyn officer claims the Darby Borough police chief called him a ni--er and slammed a door on his leg in an unprovoked altercation last year.

A civil complaint has now been filed in the case of a police officer who claims he was assaulted by officers from a nearby municipality because of his race.

Colwyn Police Officer Clinton Craddock filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania last week against Darby Borough Police Chief Robert Smythe and eight other officers for an alleged incident in March 2011 in Darby.

According to the complaint, Smythe, who is Caucasian, used a racial slur towards Craddock, an African-American, and allegedly slammed his leg in the door of a patrol car after Craddock arrested a suspect in Darby. Cpl. Bryant Baker then pushed Craddock and told him to leave, while the other officers watched the scene unfold, the suit claims.

The incident, which was caught on videotape, is under investigation by the Delaware County District Attorney's office.

The suit alleges that Craddock has received harassing phone calls, presumably from Darby officers, since reporting the alleged misconduct. It also claims that Smythe, through his attorney, has threatened to arrest and prosecute Craddock if he returns to Darby.

The suit names the borough, Smythe, Cpl. Bryant Baker, Freddie Igram, Cpl. Joseph Gabe, Tanya Deaver, Brian Evan and three other unidentified officers as defendants. The suit requests an unspecified amount in damages, including back pay.

Craddock has also filed a racial discrimination claim against Smythe and Darby Borough with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Neither Smythe nor the other defendants could be reached for comment Sunday.

 
 
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