A Nassau County police officer says she was verbally abused and illegally arrested by two fellow cops outside a West Hempstead store on Nov. 29.
Officer Dolores Sharpe, who has served in the NCPD’s Applicant Investigation Unit for 19 years, claimed at a press conference last week that she was detained by police for three hours on wrongful charges of resisting arrest after officers said she had interfered with an investigation outside Dollar Tree, at 200 Hempstead Turnpike, on Black Friday.
“Any claim of resisting arrest against Officer Sharpe is nothing short of ludicrous,” her attorney, Frederick K. Brewington, said in a statement, “and can only be seen as an attempt by the subject officers to cover up their own wrongful and discriminatory acts.”
Sharpe, who was off-duty at the time and driving her own car, had parked outside the store, Brewington said, when 5th Precinct Officer Charles Volpe drove up in a patrol car and confronted her. Volpe told Sharpe that she was blocking his view of the store and interfering with an investigation, Brewington said, and shouted insults and profanity at her at an “uncontrolled level of aggression.”
Sharpe, who Brewington said has “police running through her veins,” identified herself as an officer, showing her badge and police ID to Volpe, and asked if she could help with his investigation. When Volpe refused her assistance, Sharpe headed inside the store, and walked out seven minutes later to find the officer waiting for her, blocking her car with his, according to Brewington.
Sharpe got into her car, Brewington said, but Volpe confronted her again and, using abusive language, told her to get out. Sharpe refused to get out of her car, and asked Volpe to call a police supervisor. Volpe did not do so, Brewington said, and Sharpe managed to squeeze past his car and drive away.
Two blocks from the store, Volpe pulled Sharpe over and told her to get out of her car, which she refused to do, Brewington said, again asking Volpe to call a supervisor. At that point, Officer Victor Gladitz arrived on the scene to assist Volpe.
Gladitz demanded to see Sharpe’s identification, but when she took out her badge, Brewington said, he snatched it from her hand, causing its chain to break and hit Gladitz. He then claimed that Sharpe had tried to assault him with the chain, according to Brewington, and pushed her up against the car and placed her in handcuffs.
Sharpe was detained at the 4th Precinct, where she was suspended from the police force without pay and forced to hand over her gun and badge. She was given an appearance ticket for Jan. 9, Brewington said.
Brewington said that the case is a “clear exhibition of racial bias.” Sharpe is black, and both Volpe and Gladitz are white.
NCPD spokesman Inspector Kenneth Lack said that because the case was “an active internal affairs investigation,” he could not comment further.
Sharpe has demanded that she be reinstated, that her pay be restored and that the charges be dropped. Brewington did not say whether Sharpe plans to press charges against the two officers or the Police Department.