Man files lawsuit against Garden City PD after mistaken arrest

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GARDEN CITY -

A retired corrections officer has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Garden City Police Department over claims of racial profiling. 

Ronald Lanier says he went to the Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola in November to purchase something to make for dinner. He says he was standing by the deli counter when he was attacked from behind by two Garden City police officers.

"[They] grabbed me behind my neck, extended my right arm towards my left shoulder. I turned around and said, 'I'm on the job. I'm on the job. What  [are]  you guys doing?'" Lanier told News 12

The officer told Lanier to shup up and get on the ground, he added.

Lanier says the officers continued to beat him after he was handcuffed. His attorney, Fred Brewington, identified the officers as George Byrd and John Russel. 

Lanier says they marched him through the store in handcuffs and put him in a squad car for 20 minutes, never being told what the charges against him were. 

News 12 reported that the police mistook Lanier for Stephen Wilson, who allegedly tried to shoplift handbags from a nearby store.

Lanier says he was still in the back of the squad car when he heard on the police radio that the person the officers were looking for was arrested. 

"That's when they knew they had the wrong guy," says Lanier. 

Brewington says his client was then released with no apology. He says Lanier, an African-American, was clearly racially profiled. 

Lanier served more than 22 years at the Nassau County Sheriff's Department. The Garden City Police Department did not return calls to comment on this story. 

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