New York, NY — Nothing exposes the brutality of police quite like cops beating up one of their own. If police mistake you for a criminal, there is nothing you can do to stop their assault and a retired cop just learned that the hard way.
Ronald Lanier, retired Nassau County corrections officer, is now planning to sue the Garden City Police Department after he says they mistook him for a criminal, handcuffed, and then beat him.
“I’ve never been cursed, physically abused, beaten and treated like a slave as I was two days ago,” Lanier said through tears as explained how he ended up battered and in the hospital. “For somebody to grab me by the neck in the supermarket, and I’m telling you, ‘I’m one of you,’ and you disrespect it — it was like you’re just another black dude.”
“They cursed at him, they abused him verbally, they then start to beat him,” his attorney, Fred Brewington, told 1010 WINS. “He was taking blows with his hands cuffed behind him as he laid facedown.”
According to Lanier, when he tried to explain to the officers who were beating him that he was also a cop, they laughed in his face.
The cops who beat Lanier claimed he fit the description of a suspect in the area. So, using ‘he fit the description’ as their only means of justification, multiple officers attacked this innocent man.
“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,” said Brewington. “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.”
After finding himself on the receiving end of police brutality, Lanier wants these cops stripped of their badges. If history is any indicator, however, that is a mere pipe dream.
“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.”
When CBS2 reached out to the Garden City Police Department, they explained that they were chasing a fleeing shoplifting suspect who fled into a supermarket and provided no other details about the alleged assault.
“We are hoping Garden City Police Department will come forward with respect, identifying their officers, disciplining their officers,” said Dennis Jones, with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
According to Brewington, after Lanier was beaten, he was then thrown in the back of a squad car for 20 minutes before being let go with zero apology.
“The sergeant, without any apology or any other way of making it clear that they were acknowledging the mistake that they had made, just said cut him loose,” Brewington said.
When cops are beating fellow cops, there might be a problem in the system.