Imagine you’re sitting in your car, prepping for an early morning job interview, only to have your car window smashed in by a police officer and a gun pointed in your face.
That’s exactly what happened to Robin Anderson, 20, of Glendale, Wisc., in the early morning hours of Dec. 20, 2017.
Anderson filed a lawsuit in federal court this week in which she accused the City of Glendale, police officer William Schieffer, and Detective Adam Wall of racial profiling in a case of mistaken identity gone violently wrong.
During the time of the incident there was an uptick in cell phone robberies in the greater Milwaukee area. The description of the perpetrators was four Black men driving a Black Hyundai Elantra.
Anderson was parallel-parked in front of a cell phone store near Applebee’s restaurant where she was waiting to go on a job interview. Even though the authorities had the license plate number which did not match her vehicle it had a Black person inside.
According to Anderson’s lawyer “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.”
The terror and hopelessness that Anderson felt at that time is still affecting her to this day. “The only thought that was going through my mind the entire time, was if you move, at all, they will have a reason to shoot you,” Anderson said.
She is reminded of the incident every time she sees a police officer or squad car spurring on a panic attack. She knows she is not the only one who is a victim of police profiling and subsequent unjust behavior.
“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 said. “I just want it to stop. I just want them to know this is not OK.”