White Plains, NY: On the front steps of Federal U.S. District Court, Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 12:00 with their attorney Benita Zelman, four African-American New York State Parole Officers Mario Alexandre, Samuel Washington, Sheila Penister and Annette Thomas-Prince, announce their lawsuit against Ramapo and Suffern Police Departments for racial profiling.
The four NYS Parole Officers who were in Ramapo looking for a parolee, say they were detained and held at gun point last April while on duty, despite being in full uniform with their badges visibly displayed around their neck. Community leaders and organizations like the Blacks In Law Enforcement Of America (BLEA) stood in support of the parole officers demanding justice and calling for accountability.
New York State Parole Officers Mario Alexandre, Samuel Washington, Sheila Penister and Annette Thomas-Prince, who were surrounded by Ramapo and Suffern police officers while on duty in Airmont, New York and who threatened their lives at gunpoint and unlawfully held them in custody. These four African-American Parole Officers were the victims of racial profiling when they were held with an assault rifle pinned on them despite the fact that their gold shields were prominently displayed around their necks outside their bulletproof vests and a New York State Parole placard was openly visible in the windshield of their New York State Government vehicle. All of the Ramapo and Suffern police conducting this racially biased stop were white. None of these officers have been disciplined or brought to justice.
“These illegal actions taken by rogue police officers and their superiors must not be swept under the radar. We are announcing the filing of a federal lawsuit against the Town of Ramapo, the Village of Suffern, their police departments, and the officers responsible for their deplorable acts of racism and vicious assault”, said Bonita Zelman, the lawyer for all four Parole Officers
The officers accused of racial profiling the parole officers will be served this week and have 30 day to respond.