Four NYPD parole officers have filed a civil lawsuit against the Ramapo Police Department after claiming they were racially profiled during a recent traffic stop, CNNreports.
The officers were stopped on April 21 while attempting to carry out an arrest warrant and wearing their badges, bulletproof vests, and a placard on their truck’s dashboard.
The force claims they received a 911 call about “four big people” with “bulletproof vests on” riding in an unmarked car. According to CNN:
Mario Alexandre and his colleagues — Sheila Penister, Annette Thomas-Prince and Samuel Washington — are all black New York State Parole officers. The parole officers have filed a civil lawsuit, alleging that they were racially profiled by the white officers and that their detainment was unnecessarily malicious and reckless.
In addition to being punched by a lieutenant, Alexandre says he showed his badge but was ignored by the rest of the officers.
Penister said that when she attempted to show her New York State ID to a police sergeant, he “became enraged and approached her in a threatening manner with his hand held on the butt of his gun,” court documents state. When all parole officers were identified, they allege they were still forcibly detained and not permitted to leave.
Penister later told reporters she still suffers anxiety towards other officers. All of the parole officers have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Ramapo Town Assistant Attorney Dennis Lynch says the police officers acted accordingly.
Lynch said called the actions of the police officers “reasonable under the circumstances” and that the “parole officers had not notified the town that they would be in town.”
The officers have not been placed on suspension, despite demands from the victims.