EXCLUSIVE: Retired DC officer accuses Darrell Best of inappropriate conduct

The prosecution said in court Thursday that a D.C. police officer and pastor facing sex abuse charges was demoted in 2008 for sexually harassing women in the police department.

Speaking exclusively to FOX 5's Emily Miller, a retired officer has accused Darrell Best of inappropriate conduct. And in a separate case, a retired sergeant said she was punished for reporting sexual harassment by a different superior.

Sgt. Nanette Harris and officer Valarie Eason worked for the D.C. Police Department for over 25 years before retiring.

Before being demoted, Best was Eason's sergeant. One night he came up to her while she was alone at the station and made offensive comments, she told FOX 5.  

"Stuff like, I would like to get in between your legs… You know, something like, I bet you can work your hips…  I told him don't talk to me that way," Eason said.

After his arrest, Eason felt compelled to tell her story for the first time.

"Now I'm not a youth... a juvenile... but it was still inappropriate to say who is a co-worker or subordinate," said Eason.

Eason said she didn't report the incident because she was too scared it would affect her career.

"If you come forward with something negative about the department, you will be blackballed. When you get transferred, you got another district. They already know why you're there," she said.

She says Best told her he was untouchable.  

A spokesman for Chief Cathy Lanier said she can't comment on "an ongoing investigation or personnel matters." Best's lawyers did not respond to a call for comment.

Both women worked with Best at the 7th District station about 15 years ago. They say the way the department handles accusations of sexual harassment is still a problem.

In another case of a superior officer, Harris said her commander made sexual advances to her in private back in the 90s.

"He came up behind me and he started massaging my shoulders. And I asked him what was he doing and he said when are you going to give me some? Give you what? He said, you know, when are you going to give me some?" Harris told FOX 5.  

Harris filed charges, but the department told her she would be transferred while they investigated. The commander retired during the investigation. Harris was transferred against her wishes to the 7th District.

"I was hurt. I was crying... I was being the victim twice," said Harris.

These women are coming forward now because they say the women on the force cannot.

"I'm retired. That's why I am able to freely do this interview because it's ongoing. You have people who are suffering in silence who are still on this department," said Eason.

A police department run by a female police chief is now under fire by women who say that they need better protection from sexual advances on the job.


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