NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A retired Nassau County corrections officer claims he was beaten by officers in a case of mistaken identity.

Ronald Lanier said he was shopping in the Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola on Nov. 30 when he was tackled, handcuffed and beaten by officers with the Garden City Police Department.

“I’ve never been cursed, physically abused, beaten and treated like a slave as I was two days ago,” Lanier said, breaking down as he described how he landed in handcuffs and in a hospital. “For somebody to grab me by the neck in the supermarket, and I’m telling you, ‘I’m one of you,’ and you disrespect it — it was like you’re just another black dude.”

“They cursed at him, they abused him verbally, they then start to beat him,” his attorney, Fred Brewington, told 1010 WINS. “He was taking blows with his hands cuffed behind him as he laid facedown.”

Lanier, who retired after two decades as a Nassau County corrections officer, claims he complied and explained to the officers that he was law enforcement, but they just laughed.

The officers, who are white, claimed they were searching for a black shoplifting suspect, who was later apprehended on the roof of the building.

“They didn’t have a good description of who they were looking for. That doesn’t give you the right to go into a store and grab the first black person you see and throw them to the ground,” his attorney, Fred Brewington, told 1010 WINS. “The fact that he happened to be a black male in the store does not make him a culprit, it does not make him a suspect.”

Lanier intends to sue the Garden City Police Department, accusing them of violating his civil rights. He wants the officers stripped of their badges.

“I’m tired of hearing officers constantly talking about we have to retrain. We don’t have to retrain, we got to let them be held accountable for their actions,” Lanier said. “Imagine if I had my gun at that time. It could have went either way.”

“We are hoping Garden City Police Department will come forward with respect, identifying their officers, disciplining their officers,” said Dennis Jones, with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

The Garden City Police Department declined to share its side of the story with CBS2, but provided context, saying they were chasing a fleeing shoplifting suspect who abandoned a getaway car on the railroad tracks and fled into the supermarket, Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Brewington said his client spent 20 minutes inside a squad car before he was let go without receiving an apology.

“The sergeant, without any apology or any other way of making it clear that they were acknowledging the mistake that they had made, just said cut him loose,” Brewington said.

Western Beef does have interior security cameras, but would not share the video with CBS2.

Comments (9)
  1. There should be a federal investigation regarding excessive use of force. Maybe, there were store cameras

  2. Gail Byrne says:

    Garden City police have been beating young boys and men for years…My sons (white and G.C.residents) were handcuffed and beaten also. I was harassed and falsely arrested, spent 5 hours detained and handcuffed in a cell with a man. Spent 8 months in and out of court……Finally got probation.For something i never did plus I had legal fees and travelled to Nassau County for court. I no longer live in G.C. changed my vanity plate so as not to be profiled again. I am white and lived in G.C. for 30 years. I still get sick when I go ‘home’ to visit. The G.C. police are corrupt and dangerous. It is a ‘men’s club’ so don’t bother complaining!

  3. Ron Burr says:

    “Mistakenly beat him”? There was no mistake. They. Beat. Him. Yes, there was mistaken identity, which you cite in the body of the article, but your headline is horrendous as well as being incredibly poorly worded.

    Do better.

  4. Mistaken identity, ok. Just cuff em and hold him. But the beating????????? So NOT ok – I know it happens way too often I have seen it myself when it is no where near necessary. I am not convinced this is racial however.

  5. so where are the people saying “he wouldn’t have gotten beat if he didn’t resist” at?

  6. Linda Petty says:

    Those Police officers should be stripped of badge and gun and charged with racist assault.

  7. And what’s with the beating? Is beating a suspect a routine part of making an arrest? I don’t think so. You maybe grab the person, put the cuffs on them, and take them to the squad car. There’s not supposed to be any beating. Someone better tell these guys. And anyway, if they were looking for a shoplifter, they should have searched him for the stolen items. They wouldn’t have found any, and at that point they should let him go. smh

  8. “Lanier intends to sue the Garden City Police Department, accusing them of violating his civil rights. He wants the officers stripped of their badges.”
    Yeah, good luck with that.

    “Imagine if I had my gun at that time. It could have went either way.”
    Either way? From all the news stories I’ve seen I believe that MOST likely a cop would have yelled “gun” and the man would be shot dead.

  9. Aleta Weaver says:

    Please Support Ronald Lanier! Police Brutality is something we can’t stand for. Fwd: Hempstead’s own Ronald LanierA retired Nassau County Corrections Officer claims he was beaten by officers in a case of mistaken identity.Ronald Lanier said he was shopping in the Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola on Nov. 30 when he was tackled, handcuffed and beaten by officers with the Garden City Police Department.Please Come Sunday December 4 to Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola @ 1:30 pm as we stand in solidarity with our native son Change Only Comes When YOU take a STAND…Please Spread the WORD!!!

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