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Cops mistakenly arrested black woman waiting for Applebee’s job interview — now she’s filed racial profiling suit

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A Wisconsin woman who was arrested at gunpoint in what police now admit was a case of mistaken identity has filed a lawsuit claiming she was racially profiled, the local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reports.

Robin Anderson had shown up early for a job interview at the Applebee’s in Glendale, Wis., on Dec, 20, 2017, when the arrest occurred. Because she was early, the restaurant was not yet open, and the 20-year-old opted to wait inside her Hyundai, which was parked outside a cellphone store in the Bayshore Town Center shopping area.

Unbeknownst to Anderson, Glendale police were that day investigating a string of robberies at area cellphone stores. Their suspects had been identified as four black males driving a black Hyundai Elantra.

Although Anderson, who is black, drives a Hyundai of a different model, with a different license plate, her presence attracted notice from two police officers, named as Officer William Schieffer and Detective Adam Wall. Her lawsuit charges that the men slammed their squad car into the side door of her vehicle, smashed a window, and ordered her out of the car at gunpoint, after which she was handcuffed.

A Wisconsin woman is suing the police department for racially profiling her. (Photo: Boonchai Wedmakawand/Getty Images)
A Wisconsin woman is suing the police department for racially profiling her. (Photo: Boonchai Wedmakawand/Getty Images)

She was eventually released when the officers realized their mistake. They reportedly apologized for the incident and paid for repairs to the window of her car, but Anderson says the dents to her car have not been taken care of.

In addition, Anderson says that the episode has caused her to suffer from panic attacks, which are triggered by the sight of police officers and squad cars.

She’s suing the City of Glendale and the two officers, saying that they targeted her because of her race.

“The only thing Anderson had in common with the thieves is that she is also African-American,” according to the suit, which was filed in Milwaukee’s federal court Monday by attorney Mark Thomsen of Gingras, Cates & Wachs. “Had Anderson been white this would not have happened.”

“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 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I just want it to stop. I just want them to know this is not OK.”

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