A Wisconsin woman showed up early one morning for a job interview when a police cruiser smashed into her vehicle and officers jumped out with guns drawn.
Robin Anderson said she feared for her life as officers ordered her to crawl over broken glass and out of her car, and then handcuffed her, reported the Journal Sentinel.
“Don’t move or they’ll shoot you,” Anderson told herself.
Glendale police later blamed the incident on a case of mistaken identity, and the department apologized to Anderson’s father and paid to replace her broken window, but not the dents in her car.
The 20-year-old Anderson was parallel-parked Dec. 20, 2017, in her Hyundai, with cars on either side of hers, outside a cell phone store near an Applebee’s restaurant at Bayshore Town Center.
Anderson had arrived early for her job interview, and the restaurant’s doors were still locked.
Police were looking for four black men suspected in a string of robberies at cell phone stores in the area, and they were allegedly driving a Hyundai Elantra — a different model than Anderson’s car.
Officers also had a specific license plate number, which did not match Anderson’s, and no women were believed to be with the suspects.
“The only thing Anderson had in common with the thieves is that she is also African-American,” said attorney Mark Thomsen, who filed the lawsuit. “Had Anderson been white this would not have happened.”
The suit names the city of Glendale, officer William Schieffer and detective Adam Wall as defendants.
“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,” said Anderson, who says she suffers panic attacks every time she sees a police car after the incident.
“I just want it to stop,” she said. “I just want them to know this is not okay.”