A black Nassau County police officer claims she was wrongly arrested by fellow cops who used explicit language and excessive force and that criminal charges lodged against her were racially motivated, she said at a Dec. 5 news conference with her attorney.
Dolores Sharpe was off-duty when the incident occurred last week in the parking lot of a discount store in West Hempstead. Her lawyer, Frederick Brewington, said the 19-year veteran cop was approached in the lot by a white officer from the Fifth Precinct.
The officer, according to Sharpe’s account, was screaming and cursing at her while pulling his marked police cruiser toward her, claiming she had been blocking his view while he was trying to investigate something.
Brewington said Sharpe showed her bade and police ID and even offered to assist in the investigation. The cop allegedly responded: “I don’t care who the f--- you think you are. You are a moron.”
Her attorney alleges the officer waited outside for her to finish shopping and then pulled his police car in front of her vehicle and ordered her to “get the f--- out of the car.” She refused and told the officer to call a supervisor. Eventually, she was able to leave the parking lot, the lawyer said, but didn’t make it too far before lights and sirens were blaring behind her.
She made it about two blocks away when the traffic stop, for allegedly having tinted windows, occurred. Once again, she was head-to-head again with the same officer. Sharpe, her lawyer said, told the cop that she wasn’t going to deal with him anymore and demanded he call a supervisor.
A few minutes later, another officer arrived. That officer reportedly questioned whether or not Sharpe was really a cop and demanded that she show him her police identification.
“When she showed her ID, it was on a chain,” Brewington said. “He snatched it. It was snatched out of her hand so much so that it ripped from the chain…he grabbed her by the shoulders, slammed her and pushed her.”
Sharpe was taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest. She was later released from a police station on an appearance ticket and will face a judge for arraignment next month.
She said she has since been suspended from her job without pay and was forced to surrender her weapon. She wants her job back and for the charges against her to be dropped
“If it could happen to me, it could happen to anybody...I have been wrongfully charged and falsely arrested, requiring me to defend against allegations that are based on prejudice from my own police force.”
A spokeswoman for the police department said an Internal Affairs investigation is being conducted. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s spokeswoman said he was “prohibited from commenting on an ongoing investigation.”
Police officials would not provide any other information about the incident and a message left for the president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association was not immediately returned.
UPDATE [12-5-13, 5:25 p.m.]: Citing court documents, The Associated Press reports that Sharpe has been additionally charged with harassment for allegedly attempting to strike a second officer with the chain of her police badge. Her attorney told the AP that the charge was not unexpected.