A Nassau County police officer said she was illegally arrested and verbally abused by two fellow members of the force before being detained for three hours after shopping on Black Friday.
Officer Dolores Sharpe, a 19-year veteran who works in the Applicant Investigation Unit, said she was suspended without pay and forced to hand over her department-issued gun after being charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest.
Thursday, Sharpe demanded she be reinstated with pay restored and the charges dropped. "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 read from a statement during a news conference at the Hempstead office of her lawyer Frederick K. Brewington.
"Most of all, I want to help restore the public's confidence in law enforcement."
Brewington said the officers were tainted by "racial animus."
Sharpe, of Jamaica, Queens, is black. The officers are white.
Nassau police spokesman Insp. Kenneth Lack said the altercation is the subject of an internal affairs investigation, but "I can't say anything else about it."
Katie Grilli-Robles, spokeswoman for County Executive Edward Mangano, said, "We are prohibited from commenting on an ongoing investigation."
Brewington said Sharpe parked outside a store in West Hempstead on Nov. 29 and was accosted by Nassau Officer Charles Volpe after he drove up to her in a marked Nassau patrol car. He berated Sharpe and told her she had interfered with an investigation by blocking his view, Brewington said.
"She told him she was with the department and asked if she could help," Brewington said, noting that Sharpe showed her badge and police ID. "He cursed her, and she went in the store."
Sharpe came out of the store about seven minutes later "and he again abused her with words, telling her to get out of the car," Brewington said. "She said she would not and he should call a supervisor immediately."
Volpe didn't call a supervisor, Brewington said, and Sharpe drove off.
Two blocks away, Volpe pulled Sharpe over and asked her to get out of her car. She refused and asked Volpe again to call a supervisor, Brewington said. Another officer, Victor Gladitz, soon arrived to assist.
After talking to Volpe, Gladitz demanded Sharpe's identification, arrested her and placed her in handcuffs, Brewington said. A sergeant then came on the scene and ordered her handcuffs removed, Brewington said. She asked to leave and was told she was still under arrest.
Sharpe was taken to the Fourth Precinct. She was given an appearance ticket for Jan. 9, Brewington said.
Volpe, reached at home, said he could not comment on the case as it is under investigation. Gladitz could not be reached. Officials at their union, the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association did not return calls.
With William Murphy