Kevin VeseyJun 1, 2017, 9:49 pm

Nassau veteran sues Garden City PD after officers allegedly racially profile, beat him

Retired correction officer says he paid a steep price for the color of his skin after he was mistakenly profiled as a shoplifter

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For veteran Ronald Lanier, it’s never easy to recount the details of an encounter he claims to have had with the Garden City Police Department in November of last year.

The retired Nassau County correction officer says he was shopping at a Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola when he was suddenly tackled from behind by a pair of Garden City officers who were searching for a suspect accused of stealing handbags from a department store.

Lanier, who is African-American, says he was beaten and cursed at even as he identified himself as a member of law enforcement.

“You know how I felt? Four and a half years in the military. I worked at Ground Zero six days after the towers fell. 22 and a half years in law enforcement. I served my country three times,” Lanier said.

The Garden City Police Department caught the actual suspect moments after Lanier's arrest, according to Lanier’s lawyer.

Lanier claims he was let go without so much as an apology and drove himself to Winthrop University Hospital for treatment.

On Thursday, Lanier and his Attorney Frederick Brewington filed a 28-page lawsuit in federal court, alleging unreasonable force and abuse of power.

The $50 million suit goes after the Village of Garden City, as well as its police department, and four uniformed service members.

Brewington says the treatment Lanier received was nothing more than a matter of race.

“Had Mr. Lanier been a white man, he never would have been grabbed. They grabbed the first black man they saw and assumed he was a criminal,” Brewington said.

FiOS1 News reached out to the Village of Garden City and the Garden City Police Department but neither returned a request for comment.

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