Robin Anderson, a 20-year old African-American pre-school teacher from Wisconsin, was a victim of mistaken identity last year when she was wrongfully and violently arrested for a robbery committed by Black male suspects. She has since filed a racial profiling lawsuit against the city of Glendale and the police officers involved.
During the early morning of December 20, 2017, Anderson was sitting inside her car parked outside a cell phone store near Applebee’s restaurant while waiting for her job interview when police officers smashed her car window and pointed their guns at her.
In connection with the incident, Anderson filed a lawsuit last week against the City of Glendale, Police Officer William Schieffer, Detective Adam Wall, and ten unnamed officers claiming that they wrongfully stopped, frisked, and arrested her.
“They pull to the car, hit her door, got out, jumped around, smashed the window on the other side, pointed their guns and had her get out of the car crawling over glass. She was scared to death,” said Mark Thomsen, Anderson’s lawyer.
Anderson said she was terrified and crying at that moment, but what’s only going through her mind was “if you move, they will have a reason to shoot you,” said Anderson.
At that time, there were incidents of robberies in cell phone stores in the area. The suspects were described as four Black males riding a Black Hyundai Elantra. Anderson, on the other hand, has a different car model, different license plate numbers, and she is a woman and alone. The only thing common is that they’re all African Americans.
The hopelessness and shock Anderson felt at that time still remains in her memory and it developed trauma. The lawsuit says she is still “experiencing unnecessary and physical pain and severe emotional pain, distress, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, property damage, and continues to be damaged.”
“Before this situation I had no reason to fear or hate police officers. None. But seeing a police officer strike fear in me that I can’t even describe… seeing one makes my heart drop, I start to shake, it’s like I’m having a panic attack,” Anderson told CBS58.