iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Sexual harassment towards women officers in US police department is no secret, but at the same time it is also a well-known fact that the department might go the distance to safeguard its name by protecting their clan by turning a deaf ear to the complaints.
That is exactly what has happened to Sharon Carolyn Balli.
Balli is the first female Indian-Guyanese ever made captain at the New York Police Department (NYPD) and a retired Army major, filed her notice of claim with the NYC’s Comptroller’s Office on Thursday seeking $5 million.
She said that she was subjected to repeated sexual harassment and was even targeted with an Internal Affairs probe when she tried to complain about him.
Balli has now accused the NYPD of safeguarding the male officers and turning a deaf ear to her repeated complaints. The accusations come at a time when police departments across states in the United States are being slammed for brutality with protesters calling for reforms.
Her workplace was a “boy’s club,” she alleged. “I’ve been living six months of hell.”
Balli, who is assigned to Manhattan South Narcotics, had complained about Capt. Hariton Marachilian after he allegedly repeatedly asked about her sex life, the notice reads.
“While reviewing narcotics operation protocols, he has blatantly asked about Claimant’s and her husband’s sex life,” according to the notice.
“Do you have great sex?” and “You need to have more sex,” she recalled him saying, according to the notice.
She also claims in the notice that Marachilian tried to get into their shared executive bathroom on “several occasion from December 2019 to June 2020 while she was taking a shower.”
According to Balli, even after repeated complains, the NYPD has failed to take any action against the accuser.
She said that “she is no ordinary woman” yet this is extremely disrespectful on so many different levels and it’s quite scary and she will be taking the matter to higher levels.
Balli said that initially she felt that a complaint would solve the issue but she was proven wrong when she reported the incidents to Deputy Inspector Andrew Arias, who told her that she would have to “deal with it” and “I am telling you to stand down and shut the f–k down.”
Left with no other choice she decided to file a complaint with the Employment Opportunity Commission, which according to Balli, further created a “toxic hostile work environment.” She is now the target of an Internal Affair Probe after she decided to set up a camera inside her office cabin to check if the two accused went in there in her absence.
Balli’s allegations once again bring to fore the growing incidents of sexual harassment at workplace with the police departments in the United States no exception. Police across the United States are facing backlash for atrocities and several other issues. This has seen many states going for extensive police reforms but the problems seem to be far from over.