CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County police officer accused of targeting Hispanic drivers and stealing cash from them during traffic stops has pleaded not guilty to upgraded charges, including grand larceny as a hate crime.
Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said while on patrol, Sgt. Scott Greene, 50, of Shirley, would target Hispanic drivers, pull them over, search their cars and steal whatever cash he could find.
The 25-year veteran was arrested on Jan 30. during an undercover sting operation. He was caught on surveillance video allegedly taking $100 cash from the front seat of a car driven by a Hispanic undercover detective.
At the time of Greene’s arrest, he was suspected in at least three incidents, but Spota said Monday that 22 Hispanic men came forward and “six people positively identified Greene as the person who had stolen money from them.”
“There were some who were drivers, some who were passengers and even one who was walking,” said Irma Solis of the advocacy group Make The Road. “Those who did come forward decided to do so to make sure that they put an end to this.”
The alleged traffic stops and thefts occurred in Farmingville, Medford and Coram, according to prosecutors. Each victim was robbed of approximately $50 to $100, authorities said.
Greene, who has since retired from the police force, was released on his own recognizance.
“He’s brought discredit and shame to the badge that he once wore, but he will never wear again,” Spota said.
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