Hempstead, NY – An African-American retired Nassau County correction officer announced Friday morning, his plans to sue the Garden City Police Department and Village of Garden City. Lanier claims two white Garden City Police Officers racially profiled him, mistook him for a robbery suspect and beat him after they threw him to ground and handcuffed him.
From the law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington (525 Penninsula Blvd), Ronald Lanier, a 22 year veteran of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department informs while he was shopping for cooking oil at the Western Beef Supermarket located at 61 Second Street, Mineola on Wednesday, near where he lives, when two white Garden City police officers approached him from behind and ordered him stop and put his hands up. Then they proceeded to throw him to the ground and beat his body, ribs and arms. When Lanier told them he was a law enforcement officer, they replied, “You’re no f—–g officer,” according to Brewington
Despite Lanier being a U.S. Army veteran, a corrections officer for more than 22 years and a volunteer at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it was not enough to escape the bias of systematic racism that has been undeniably prevalent nationwide and illuminated by mobile phone camera lenses and the lovechild of the World Wide Web – Social Media. The two white Garden City Police Officers did not see a veteran or a fellow law enforcement officer, there just saw a Black Man and that was the only requirement needed to fit the description of suspect they were looking for.
“I was stripped of my service, stripped of my humanity, stripped of my dignity,” Lanier said during an emotional press conference at Brewington’s Hempstead law office.
During the emotional presser, Lanier and his attorney continued to explain that after the beating in the store, police detained him in a police car for about twenty minutes. It at insult to injury police let Lanier go after hearing the actual suspect had been found on the radio. One officer said let him go, and offered no apology or explanation, just told him he was free to go. Police didn’t even offer Lanier, they fellow officer who they mistakenly beat up, an ambulance or medical personal to check his injuries, No one asked if he was okay, they just released him.
BW later found out it was 49-year-old Stephen Wilson of Rosedale, Queens, who police were looking for and eventually arrested at Western Beef after he allegedly tried to steal two designer handbags from the Lord & Taylor department store in Garden City.
A police officer chased Wilson as he fled the store in a gray Acura. He drove the car onto the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Mineola before running into the supermarket, where he was arrested, police said.
Wilson was charged with petty larceny, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license, police said.
At Garden City Police Department, a Lieutenant told Lanier they did not have a good description. Lanier said Wilson weighted at least 100 pounds more than him.
“When you don’t have a good description, you don’t just start scooping up black people,” Brewington said.
Brewington who is handling two other police brutality lawsuits against the Garden City Police Department announced a notice of claim has been filed and served to police department and the Village of Garden City, Friday alleging federal and state civil rights violations.
A spokesperson for the Garden City Police Department declined BW’s request to comment on the allegations of assault and racism. The police spokesperson also declined our request to give us the names of the two white officers involved. The Village of Garden City also declined to comment.
Stay tuned to BW for more on this developing story.