Racial profiling accusations rock Bridgeport Police Department
Two women are claiming they are wrongfully accused of planting suspicious powder at the Bridgeport Police Department because of their religion.An unknown powder shut down streets and evacuated nine officers and six prisoners from Bridgeport police headquarters last Thursday. Police say 45-year-old Anan Altayeb and her sister-in-law, 35-year-old Cari Altayeb, were brought to the station after the department received a call that the women were threatening and harassing employees at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) offices on Middle Street. Police say they found a suspicious substance on one of the women when they were brought to the booking area. Everyone in the building was evacuated and decontaminated. The substance found on Altayeb was later confirmed to be table salt.Lawyer Robert Berke confirms Altayeb spread salt on the sidewalk in front of the DCF just before her arrest, but says salt is used in the Muslim religion for good luck. Berke says police singled out his client because of her Muslim garb.Bridgeport police deny any charges of racial profiling. Officials add DCF had hired an officer to watch the Altayeb family because they have previously been accused of harassment.