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."