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Report: Mexican-American Woman Sues Berkley Public Safety, Fifth Third Bank

Erandy Pacheco of Ferndale claims that she was racially profiled and arrested while trying to deposit a check, according to a report by deadlinedetroit.com.

A lawsuit filed this week in Oakland County against the and claims a Mexican-American bank patron was falsely accused of passing a bad check, arrested, handcuffed in the bank and taken to the BPS station, according to a report by deadlinedetroit.com

Ferndale resident Erandy Pacheco, 35, claims that she was singled out by bank employees because of her race and wrongfully arrested after a transaction at the bank's Berkley branch, the report says.

"I'm aware of the situation, but I have not officially received the summons," City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa said Friday, when contacted by Berkley Patch. She declined further comment until the city has more information.

According to deadlinedetroit.com, Pacheco is a Spanish translator who had stopped at the Fifth Third Bank on Coolidge Highway in late June to deposit a U.S. Treasury check for $9,540, payment for work with the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Her attorney, Jack L. Jaffe, told deadlinedetroit.com that it is a clear case of “banking while Hispanic.”

Berkley Patch is seeking documents in the lawsuit and will have more details next week.

This is the second lawsuit filed this month against the Berkley Public Safety Department. The first was a wrongful death suit, reported earlier this month in The Detroit News, filed by the family of a woman who died 2 years ago in the department's lockup.

The adult children of Lisa Kindl claim in their lawsuit that officers did not provide proper emergency medical care to their mother, who went through alcohol withdrawal after failing a Breathalyzer test during a routine probation meeting and being arrested, according to News.

BPS Chief Richard Eshman said he was aware of the lawsuit and had no further comment due to the ongoing litigation. Bais-DiSessa said the wrongful death suit is the first big lawsuit she can recall filed against the department in the nearly 11 years she has been with the city.

"We have an outstanding public safety department and I'm very supportive of them," she said. "We are a public safety department and, unfortunately, sometimes tragedies like this occur."

Easydude July 21, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I am confused. If the check was for that large of an amount there should have been a money in Pacheco to cover the check and freeze her account until the check clears or put a hold on the account. There has to be something more to the story.
Richard Weed July 22, 2012 at 01:46 PM
After the Squad IV Regulators gay bondage scandal, the sexual assault conviction of Berkley PD officer Brent Smith, the questionable and cruel conduct of Berkley PD's animal control officer, and the FBI investigation of Berkley's chief and the drug racketeering convictions of many of his officers at Detroit's 5th Pct., it's time to rebuild this entire department. The chief and too many of his officers are liabilities this small city cannot afford.
Leslie Ellis July 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Thanks for your comment, Richard. The FBI did investigate officers in Detroit's 5th Precinct in the 1990s, but my understanding is that Richard Eshman, who is now Berkley's chief, was not among those indicted. Can you provide documentation otherwise?
Richard Weed July 22, 2012 at 02:27 PM
The chief's disgraceful record speaks for itself. It was on his watch, as commander of the precinct. Same with this incident, the wrongful death, the activities of his animal control officer, and the Squad IV Regulators gay bondage scandal. Your bias is clear.
Ferndale_1986 July 22, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I wouldn't live in Berkley if you gave me a house for free.
Ferndale July 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Berkeley is simply on par with most of it's neighboring departments. There are many departments that gave been rocked by scandal of one sort or another....Lawsuits are not news anymore. They are just expected.
Virginia July 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Ferndale_1986, that is a profoundly ignorant comment But then again, we wouldn't want you to live here either; we have educational standards to uphold.
Kevin Moser July 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Seems a lot of conclusions are being jumped to before the city even knows what they are being sued for. I would like to know what source they have to make the conclusions? When officers go on a call like that, there is an established protocal, which is why the person may have been placed inhandcuffs, were they combative? Were they under arrest and if so on what evidence? None of us know, so to rush to judgement, simply isnt fair. As far as other incidents, yes the city had a bad apple who is today sitting in prison for his deed. In other things, mentioned, they were investigated by outside law enforcement agencies and city was not found to be at blame. I have no idea what happend at the bank as I have yet to see a witness accout or seen any other statements other than what you have. I think both the cities of Ferndale and Berkley are great places to live and if writer of comment would not take a free home in Berkley? I dont even think I have to say anything else.... I would gladly accept one! Finally we heard one side of the incident with animal control officer. I know her, have seen her at work and she does a wonderful job! Anyone give any thought to person who did not have their animal leashed sharing any responsibility in incident? I have a couple of great stories about her getting people back their animals and have seen her with a wayward stray riding in the front seat as she is taking them home. I have never seen that sort of compassion before. We Dare To Care
Burton Knows July 24, 2012 at 04:50 PM
@ Easydude: If you read the story on deadlinedetroit.com that's exactly she was doing--depositing the entire check. The bank will lose this one. The Berkley PD might get a pass, it was acting on information and belief from the bank--who obviously needs to train its personnel on check cashing procedures. This woman will get paid but not as much as she or her attorney may think.

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