Videos recently obtained by The Journal News show four black parole officers on official business being held at gunpoint and detained by police.
Black law enforcement leaders are criticizing Ramapo police for the incident that took place last April,
“If these guys aren’t safe, imagine what a young black man feels about interacting with the police,” said Damon Jones, the New York representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. “They have no chance.”
Watch the harrowing footage below:
Dash cam footage show police cars, with flashing lights, boxing in an unmarked vehicle. One officer draws a gun and aims at the vehicle, using his police SUV as cover. Another officer reaches into the driver’s side of the state vehicle as parole officer Mario Alexandre emerges, raising his hands in the air.
Once out of the car, the group is approached by a third police officer carrying a rifle.
Even after being identified over the police radio as state employees, the parole officers were held at least six minutes.
“Would they receive the same treatment if these parole officers were white?” asked Jones.
The state parole officers have a federal lawsuit pending against the town, its police department and others, citing racial profiling and civil rights violations.
“I think it was an absolute case of racial profiling.”said Grant Valentine of Chestnut Ridge, a retired parole officer and NAACP member. “I think what they saw was four black people they perceived to have guns in a car and they reacted based on those assumptions. They [parole officers] are traumatized. They feel violated. They feel betrayed by one of their fellow police agencies.”