Robin Anderson filed a lawsuit on Monday claiming Wisconsin police racially profiled her after she was arrested by gunpoint while waiting for a job interview with Applebees in 2017, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper.
Anderson was reportedly early to a job interview at the food franchise located in the Bayshore Town Center of Glendale, Wisconsin on Dec. 20, 2017. She opted to wait inside her Hyundai for Applebees to open.
Robin Anderson was parked at Bayshore Town Center when police smashed her car window and handcuffed her at gunpoint. https://t.co/Z5iCqpIf1R
— Journal Sentinel (@journalsentinel) October 16, 2018
The Glendale police were investigating robberies that took place at cellphone stores in the area. The suspects were identified as four Black males driving a black Hyundai Elantra.
Although Anderson was seated in a different model car, she was forcefully arrested by officer William Schieffer and detective Adam Wall. In her lawsuit, the 20-year-old alleges that the cops drove their vehicle into hers and busted the passenger window before she was instructed to exit the car at gunpoint.
The cops later admitted the arrest was due to mistaken identity.
“The only thing Anderson had in common with the thieves is that she is also African-American,” her lawyer Mark Thomsen said in the lawsuit. “Had Anderson been white this would not have happened.”
The young woman said after the incident the officers apologized and paid to fix her window but not the dents they made to her car. Since the incident, the sight of police and squad cars allegedly trigger Anderson, who now suffers panic attacks.
She is suing Schieffer, Wall and the city of Glendale, Wisconsin.
“This is something that I see all the time, everywhere, that African-Americans are being stopped for no reason and police officers aren’t being held accountable for the situations when they are wrong,” Anderson told the newspaper. “I just want it to stop. I just want them to know this is not OK.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.