Village of Garden City and Its Police Department Agree to Judgment against Them for Their Treatment of Ronald Lanier, Retired African-American Nassau County Correction Officer, in Civil Rights Case

Officers Racially Profiled Him, Falsely Arrested Him for Shoplifting, Then Proceeded to Verbally and Physically Abuse and Assault Him
May 16, 2018

HEMPSTEAD, NEW YORK — On May 14, 2018, the Federal District Court entered Judgment against the Village of Garden City in favor of Mr. Ronald Lanier. In response, Frederick K. Brewington of The Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington confirmed that the Village of Garden City and the Garden City Police Department agreed to have a judgment entered against them in the amount of $150,000 to be awarded to Ronald Lanier, a retired Nassau County correction officer and an African-American, who was verbally and physically abused and assaulted by a two Garden City police officers who falsely accused him of theft and them cuffed him and deprived him of his liberty.

In addition to the settlement, the Defendants will have to pay Mr. Lanier’s legal fees. The amount has yet to be determined.

On November 30, 2016, Mr. Lanier was accosted by members of the Garden City Police Department while shopping in the Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola, New York. He was cursed at, aggressively handled, thrown to the ground, abused verbally and subjected to unreasonable and excessive force by Garden City Police who refused to believe that he had done nothing wrong and was a retired officer of the law. He was approached by no less than four officers who hurled insults at him and acted in an insulting and demeaning manner while they exhibited an uncontrolled level of aggression and vindictive nature. After holding Mr. Lanier against his will, the police realized they had arrested the wrong Black man. Then without apology or any sense of remorse, told Mr. Lanier to go. Even when Mr. Lanier showed a sergeant his badge and credentials, he was not treated with respect or any sense of dignity.

Mr. Lanier filed a Notice of Claim against the village and the police department on December 2, 2016, citing vicious physical abuse, wrongful treatment, violations of his Constitutional rights, false arrest and abuse at the hands of Garden City police officers. Last year, a lawsuit was filed at the United State District Court for the Eastern District of New York in the amount of $40 million. The Defendants denied that they had done anything wrong. That denial is muted in the face of a monetary payment to Mr. Lanier.

“After attempting to have Garden City realize that there was a serious issue here, this Judgment speaks volumes to the fight which Mr. Lanier has had waged for his good name and his well-being.” Mr. Brewington said. “The officers willfully and callously manhandled my client. Profiling him because of his race and color is something that they did and it is something with which Garden City must come to grips. When they realized it was the wrong Black man, they finally released Mr. Lanier without so much as an apology. It was not okay to simply say, ‘You’re free to go’; the failure to immediately realize that they had engaged in a discriminatory act demonstrates the level of training and education that this police force must undergo. Garden City and its police department are being held accountable for their actions. This is just one way of changing unacceptable behavior like racial profiling.”