An African-American member of the Long Island, N.Y. police force alleges that she was racially profiled by colleagues during an arrest on Nov. 29, despite identifying herself as a member of the force, reports show.
Officer Dolores Sharpe was charged with resisting arrest and harassment while off-duty, after she was confronted by an unidentified white officer while shopping at a West Hempstead, L.I. store, WNBC-TV reports.
"I have been wrongfully charged and falsely arrested, requiring me to defend against allegations that are based on prejudice coming from my own police force," Sharpe said during a press conference on Thursday.
Sharpe and her attorney, Fred Brewington, said the incident occurred when a white officer approached her before and after she visited the store, accusing her of parking in a location that blocked his view as he conducted an investigation. Brewington said that the officer then hurled “all types of curse words and [made] comments to her that I can’t repeat.”
Later, the officer pulled her over about two blocks away, when he was joined by a second female officer, the Raw Story reports. She was taken into custody even though she identified herself as part of the force and requested that a supervisor be called to the area.
Sharpe, who was reportedly told during her arrest that she would be suspended without pay, has been assigned to work as a screener for applications to the department. She is due in court on Jan. 9, 2014.
Sharpe’s allegations come as the department faces a welter of complaints. Last month, a 27-year-old woman sued the department for an alleged assault at the hands of an officer while she was in the back of his patrol car, the report shows. Additionally, former Nassau Deputy Police Commissioner William Flanagan was sentenced in July to 60 days in jail and community service for his role in helping a department benefactor’s son facing burglary charges.
Read more at the Raw Story.