A 25-year Suffolk County Police Department veteran was arrested Friday, accused of targeting Hispanic drivers in traffic stops, and in some cases stealing from them, authorities announced.
Sgt. Scott Greene, a patrol supervisor in the 6th Precinct, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday on two misdemeanor charges, including official misconduct. A conviction on that charge could lead to his removal from the police force, officials said.
Suffolk District Attorney Spota said Greene stopped Hispanic drivers, then took cash from them.
"He masqueraded as a police officer, but was in fact nothing more than a thief," said Spota.
The investigation into Greene began with a complaint from the relative of an alleged victim last year, and two more potential victims have since come forward, according to Spota.
He could face an additional hate crime charge as the probe continues, Spota said.
In one sting operation conducted by police, a car was outfitted with cameras and audio equipment, and an undercover Hispanic officer was at the wheel.
The video shows Greene taking a $100 bill from an envelope containing twelve $100 bills, slipping it under his sleeve, the district attorney said.
"That's as red-handed as you can get," said Spota.
Greene, whose salary last year was $175,000, has been suspended without pay, and he has surrendered his badge and gun.
Police Commissioner Ed Webber said it appears no other officers involved in the alleged misconduct and said Greene's behavior was not representative of the police force.