CENTRAL ISLIP - A former Suffolk County police sergeant accused of targeting Hispanic drivers in traffic stops so he could steal from them is now facing hate crime charges.
Sgt. Scott Greene was seen on surveillance video allegedly slipping $100 up his sleeve. Investigators say he believed the money belonged to a Hispanic driver he had pulled over, but it was actually an undercover officer in a sting. Prosecutors say the sting came after Greene allegedly robbed Hispanic motorists at least six times.
A relative of one of the alleged victims spoke with News 12 Long Island. He says his nephew left his wallet on the seat during a traffic stop, and when he returned to his car, his nephew's money was gone.
Greene has been arraigned on a 21-count indictment that includes hate crime charges. District Attorney Tom Spota says the hate charges were added because Greene chose his victims based on their race.
"He was clearly targeting Hispanics who were prone to carry cash," Spota says, adding that Greene's alleged victims were "unlikely to report to the police for fear about their immigration status."
Greene retired from the force two weeks after his initial arrest back in January.
Advocates within the Latino community say they believe there may be more victims out there who are afraid to come forward. Prosecutors are urging other potential victims to contact the DA's office by calling 631-775-2077.