An Asian American driver was instrumental in exposing an overtime scandal involving officers of the Massachusetts State Police.
Debbie recalled an incident in 2016 when she was allegedly racially profiled by an officer who had pulled her over. In an interview with the Boston Globe, she revealed that when she rolled her window down the cop screamed, “don’t you speak English?”
Debbie, a Harvard graduate with a medical degree, fluently speaks four languages. When she asked the officer what she needed to do, the officer continued demanding to know if she spoke English. A second officer then wrote her a ticket for going 10 miles over the speed limit.
A year later, she decided to file a formal complaint accusing the officer of acting in a threatening and racist manner. According to Debbie, when questioned about her complaint, the investigators were reportedly more caught up with inconsistencies on the ticket.
“They weren’t really interested in hearing about my complaint, but they were very interested in things like the time (on the ticket),” she was quoted as saying.
As it turned out, the time written on her ticket was off by 40 minutes and the date was off by 24 hours.
Following an investigation, the state troopers were charged with writing bogus tickets in a bid to reach unconstitutional ticket quotas in addition to embezzlement.
Eric Chin, the officer who wrote Debbie’s ticket, is himself Asian American, MailOnline reports. He pleaded guilty to an embezzlement charge related to overtime fraud. He was not jailed, but instead, put on home confinement for three months.
Michael Casamassima, the cop who screamed at Debbie, retired in 2017. He was not charged in the overtime fraud case but was charged with verbal abuse.
The investigation uncovered more officers involved in the scheme and eight troopers eventually pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Thanks to Debbie’s complaint, the entire troop has been disbanded.
Featured Image via YouTube / WCVB Channel 5 Boston