A serving New York police officer who racially abused a Derby taxi driver has been suspended from his job. Lawrence Danglewicz has also been charged with “conduct unbecoming a police officer”. Officials in the town where he lives, Accord, in New York, will conduct the 35-year-old’s disciplinary hearing local media are reporting.
According to the Derby Telegraph, the original hearing, at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, was told how Danglewicz had come to Derby on holiday “to get over his divorce” when he carried out the offence.
Lynne Bickley, prosecuting, said he had been drinking in the city centre for almost eight hours, on January 20, when he and a friend got into the cab in Friar Gate.
They asked the cabbie to stop at a cashpoint to withdraw cash and pay for the fare.
As they set off again the driver was accused of “taking the long way round” and Danglewicz started shouting at him so he returned to Derby with the passengers and at that point the driver was racially abused.
The Times Herald-Record, in New York state, reports that Danglewicz’s senior officer, police chief Simmie Williams, said: “I presented him with his charges and he’s now suspended for 30 days and we’re awaiting a disciplinary hearing”. He said that the department has charged Danglewicz with conduct unbecoming of a police officer. “The charge to which he pleaded guilty in Derby is considered a hate crime,” Williams said.
At the Derby hearing in January, Miss Bickley said “The defendant started calling the driver a racially abusive name, repeating it four times. The driver admits that he swore back at him and at that stage the defendant shouted, ‘You don’t know who I am, I’m a police officer.’”
Danglewicz was arrested and when interviewed fully admitted he had been drinking. He said he felt “embarrassed and wanted to apologise to the taxi driver”.
Danglewicz pleaded guilty to using racially-aggravated aggressive, insulting or abusive words or behaviour during the incident at 2am on January 21.
Magistrates fined him £1,605 and ordered his to pay £85 prosecution costs, a £170 victim surcharge and £100 compensation to the cabbie.
Mmmm… Hate crime indeed! More offenders should be treated in this manner – including stonking fines and suspension of employment. Perhaps these episodes might occur less frequently…? – Ed.