A retired police sergeant from Long Island’s Suffolk County in New York was charged with 20 new hate crimes Tuesday during his indictment, where he already faced charges for stealing from Latino drivers.
The new indictment charges Scott A. Greene, 50, with stealing from 20 new Latino drivers. Each alleged victim brings Greene a new larceny, larceny as a hate crime and official misconduct charge, for a total of 60 new charges, Newsday reports. Greene pleaded not guilty, and State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho let Greene go without bail.
Greene retired in April. Before Tuesday, he had already been charged with several counts of fourth-degree grand larceny as a hate crime as well as official misconduct for allegedly taking money from six different Latino drivers.
The retired officer is accused of stopping Latinos in Coram, New York with out-of-state license plates since about 2010. He would then reportedly ask the drivers for their wallet, go to the back of his patrol car, remove about $100 from the wallet and then let the driver go without a ticket.
“This defendant has used the authority of the badge as purely a thief’s motive,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said at a Monday news conference. “In our view he was clearly targeting Hispanics who he knew were prone to carry cash.”
Spota told Newsday that the investigation is continuing. He is still open to hearing from potential victims and said that various Latino advocacy groups have already helped victims speak up.
Meanwhile, some suspect foul play to have extended beyond Greene.
“It’s very difficult to believe others [in the police department] didn’t know what he was doing,” Irma Solis, Make The Road New York’s Long Island organizer, told the newspaper.
Greene was first arrested after a sting in January. He was caught stealing $100 from an envelope in the front seat of a car driven by an undercover Latino detective.
“It was an extraordinary amount of stops for a sergeant,” Spota said, explaining why Greene warranted a sting operation.