Ex-Corrections Officer Mistakenly Beaten by Cops
Ronald Lanier still bears the psychological and physical bruises of being beaten by police officers in suburban Long Island, N.Y., in a case of mistaken identity.
But his case is proof that police abuse doesn’t affect civilians only, in some cases it extends to others in law enforcement and corrections as well.
Lanier, 53, a retired Nassau County, N.Y., corrections officer, said he was grocery shopping in a local supermarket last week when he was grabbed by two Garden City police officers, tackled, pummeled and thrown to the ground. He said that he told the officers that he was also law enforcement, but they laughed.
The officers, who are White, said they were looking for a Black shoplifting suspect, who was later apprehended on the building’s roof.
“I didn’t resist,” he said at a press conference. “I stated that I was ‘on the job.’ They ignored it. They beat me.”
Lanier’s indication that he was “on the job” is police jargon that cops in New York use to indicate they are encountering other law enforcement officers. But in this case, Lanier said his fellow policemen did not listen.
“They cursed at him, they abused him verbally, they then start to beat him,” Lanier’s attorney, Fred Brewington, said. “He was taking blows with his hands cuffed behind him as he laid face down.”
Lanier sat in a squad car for about 20 minutes before the officers decided to let him go free upon learning that another suspect had been arrested. But they issued no apology for their mistake.
After the incident, Lanier says he will sue the Garden City Police Department for damages. But also said that he wants the cops that he says attacked him to be held accountable.
“I’m tired of hearing officers constantly talking about we have to retrain. We don’t have to retrain, we got to let them be held accountable for their actions,” Lanier said. “Imagine if I had my gun at that time. It could have went either way.”
Garden City police have not responded to media inquiries citing the pending lawsuit.