The lawyer for a Nassau County police officer who was arrested by fellow cops in November blasted the department Thursday for piling on charges and blindsiding his client with a traffic ticket for tinted windows that officers never made her aware of.
Officer Dolores Sharpe’s attorney, Frederick Brewington, accused the department of “trickery” and attempting to deceive his client by failing to notify Sharpe of a traffic violation that was to be settled by Thursday at 9 a.m.—the same time of her scheduled arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead.
Brewington said he wasn’t aware of any traffic ticket until he received court documents just prior to Sharpe’s arraignment. He told Judge Douglas Lerose that officers never issued Sharpe a ticket while she was detained at the Fourth Precinct.
“There’s something wrong here,” he told the judge.
Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Theresa Tebbett said of Brewington’s claims of a surprise ticket: “That’s something I will look into.”
Sharpe, who did not speak during the arraignment, was joined by more than two dozen supporters who stood in unison as she was called to face the charges.
She was additionally charged with harassment—a charge Brewington said he expected to be added on.
Sharpe plead not guilty to all charges.
Nonetheless, Brewington said outside the courthouse that “all this stuff” was made up after the fact so police can “try and justify their wrongful actions.”
“After the whistle’s blown, they’re piling on,” he added.
The charges stem from Sharpe’s arrest after she was questioned outside a West Hempstead Dollar Tree store on the evening of Nov. 29.
Sharpe, according to Brewington, was off duty when she went shopping and was approached by an officer who the lawyer said used foul language and ignored Sharpe’s pleas to notify a supervisor after showing her police badge.
After leaving the store, Sharpe was pulled over about two blocks away by the same officers, handcuffed and brought to the Fourth Precinct.
Police accused the 52-year-old cop of resisting arrest and “intentionally” trying to strike a second officer “in his face with a neck chain by swinging it at him,” according to court documents.
Sharpe “refused to comply with multiple lawful orders to place her hands behind her back” and was arrested after a brief struggle, the documents state.
Brewington said at no time was Sharpe aggressive toward the officers and it was police who were in the wrong.
“They arrested this woman, put her in handcuffs…for driving while black, basically,” Brewington charged.
During the hearing, Brewington also took issue with the arresting officer signing the ticket the day after Sharpe had already been released from custody.
“That whole trickery is a problem we’re trying to deal with regards to this Nassau County Police Department, the [Nassau County] District Attorney’s office and they should all be ashamed,” he blasted. “This is an officer in the service and they should treat her with the utmost respect.”
Insp. Kenneth Lack, Nassau police’s chief spokesman, declined to comment on the case, citing an ongoing internal affair’s investigation. He also declined to comment on any of Brewington’s statements.
Meanwhile, Sharpe returned to her job in the applicant investigation unit after a 29-day unpaid suspension. Sharpe’s service weapon has not been returned, Brewington said.
Sharpe declined to speak with reporters.