Judge Rules Against Black Parole Officers Held At Gunpoint By Ramapo Police

In the case of the four black parole officers held at gunpoint and detained by Ramapo police last May, U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel has ruled in favor of the police officers and has dismissed all but two civil rights claims against the department. Judge Seibel allowed claims of excessive time detained and use of excessive force however, assistant town attorney Dennis Lynch believes damages for the claims will be small. According to reports, the incident occurred on April 21, 2014 when Mario Alexandre, Sheila Penister, Annette Thomas-Prince and Samuel Washington, all New York State parole officers were on their way back from attempting to execute an arrest warrant. They were stopped by Ramapo police, claiming racial profiling, assault, and illegal detainment for an hour on Route 59 in Airmont, surrounded by armed officers. The town police stop were alerted when an Airmont resident dialed 911, describing people wearing bullet-proof vests, going into a house. Damon Jones, the New York representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, has identified the incident and subsequent ruling as a manifestation of a larger problem that minority police officers face on a day to day basis, “What recourse do black officers have? We get a pat on the back and, ‘We’re sorry.'”

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