An African American woman said Wednesday that two white detectives violated her civil rights by forcing her from her Southwest Philadelphia home and making her spend a night in a police district cell this month.
Nicol Newman, 48, a social worker, said she had committed no crime.
"It was insane," Newman said at a news conference at the local NAACP headquarters in North Philadelphia. She said she found the experience "demeaning and disrespectful."
A spokesman for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office declined to comment Wednesday.
A Philadelphia police spokeswoman said the department's Internal Affairs unit was investigating Newman's allegations.
Newman's lawyer, Michael Coard, said police had gone to Newman's house March 9 to arrest her son on charges of theft.
Because her son was not home and police had no search warrant, Newman did not allow detectives inside, Coard said.
Newman was then forcibly taken from her home, he said, adding, "It's a corrupt system when something like this happens."
Newman was charged with disorderly conduct. She is scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon. In most cases, Coard said, people faced with a summary offense merely pay a fine and have their records expunged.
But he said Newman would demand a trial. He linked Newman's experience to what he described as other indignities experienced by African Americans at the hands of white police officers across the nation.
NAACP president Minister Rodney Muhammad decried injustices that he said were perpetrated by "elements" of the police.
"Rather than protectors, they come more as predators," he said. Muhammad added that he had confidence in Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr.
Asked why it was important to have Newman's case aired at a public trial, Coard said: "Do we have to wait until a black woman is killed? I am livid about this."