A retired black corrections officer in New York state has accused two white police officers of racial profiling when they allegedly abused him, physically and verbally, during a mistaken arrest last week. He said he plans to sue.
Ronald Lanier, 53, was shopping in a Mineola supermarket on Nov. 30 when he alleges the officers grabbed him from behind without warning, Newsday reported. The Garden City police officers, whose district borders Mineola, were searching for a fleeing shoplifter, according to CBS 2 News.
At an emotional press conference last week, Lanier said he cooperated with the officers and identified himself as law enforcement. But he said they laughed and manhandled him as they placed him in handcuffs.
“I’ve never been cursed, physically abused, beaten and treated like a slave as I was two days ago,” Lanier said in tears.
Lanier’s attorney, Fred Brewington, slammed the officers’ alleged response as racial discrimination.
“They didn’t have a good description of who they were looking for. That doesn’t give you the right to go into a store and grab the first black person you see and throw them to the ground,” Brewington told 1010 WINS. “The fact that he happened to be a black male in the store does not make him a culprit. It does not make him a suspect.”
The fact that he happened to be a black male in the store does not make him a culprit. It does not make him a suspect. Fred Brewington, lawyer for Ronald Lanier
Lanier said he spent about 20 minutes inside a squad car before the officers let him go, without an apology or explanation. Another suspect had reportedly been taken into custody for the crime.
The former corrections officer, who worked for Long Island’s Nassau County, said he plans to file a lawsuit against the Garden City Police Department.
“I’m tired of hearing officers constantly talking about we have to retrain. They don’t need to be retrained. They need to be held accountable for their actions,” Lanier said at the press conference. He said he wants the officers to hand in their badges.
A spokesman for the Garden City police declined comment when reached by The Huffington Post Wednesday, pointing to the threatened lawsuit. Brewington was not immediately available for comment.