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Black NYC Dentist Had To Call 911 On The Cops After They Accused Him Of Breaking Into His Own Office

New York Post video

A Manhattan dentist claimed police officers racially profiled him by accusing him of breaking into his own office. The Black dentist is now suing the city of New York according to documents filed with the city comptroller’s office.

Back in March, Dr. Benjamin Shirley was taking out the trash from his office late one night. He very briefly left his building and came back.

As soon as he did, two officers shined a light through the front window and demanded he identify himself.

Dr. Shirley was scared for his life. The officers demanded he come out of the office, and threatened to break the front door and security measures if he didn’t.

According to the notice Dr. Shirley filed, this is despite the officers having no probable cause or reasonable belief that a crime was being committed.

This prompted the dentist to call the police on the officers threatening him.

Reza Rezvani, the lawyer for Dr. Shirley, told the New York Post:

“Imagine how terrifying it is to have to call the police on the police and then to be met with no help. It’s the definition of helplessness.”

After nearly half an hour, two more cops arrived on the scene. Dr. Shirley came to the door and provided his identification.

Despite the fact his ID has the address of his office building on the card, he had to show it multiple times before the police finally left him alone.

The dentist says he didn’t go out to meet with the cops sooner because he was scared.

Dr. Shirley regularly worked late, as his practice was open until 10pm, and he would take emergency cases at all hours. But the actions of the officers terrified him.

Rezvani said:

“It’s midnight, he’s black, they are shining flashlights inside — that’s how you set up all kinds of bad things happening.”

“To casually walk out, it’s not possible in that scenario.”

The fear of racial profiling kept him inside until he was sure he was safe.

The notice with the city includes claims of negligence, illegal search and seizure, trespassing and false arrest.

The notice was filed in June and depending on response from the city will escalate into a lawsuit over these claims.

The city and the NYPD have not commented on the case.

These kinds of event are all too common. Across the country, just a few months prior, another Black businessman experienced a similar event with the LAPD.

Yema Kalif was working late when police allegedly harassed him.

They demanded to know what he was doing in his own store. This was despite no alarms and no one calling the police about his business.

Ben Acosta

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.