A bus driver with Peter Pan Bus Lines is suing two Connecticut state police officers who she says ignored video evidence when they arrested her on suspicion of locking a passenger in the luggage compartment.
Wendy Alberty filed a civil rights suit in the U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 20 against two Connecticut state troopers, accusing them of unlawful, wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution and retaliatory prosecution under color of law, MassLive reported.
Alberty was driving a bus from New York to Boston last year when state police received a 911 call from a passenger who claimed the driver intentionally locked her in the luggage compartment during a brief stop in Hartford. State police stopped the bus in Union, Connecticut, and arrested Alberty.
Her lawsuit charges two state troopers with ignoring testimony from a third trooper who reviewed footage of the Hartford stop and concluded Alberty did not lock the passenger in the luggage compartment intentionally, the Hartford Courant reported.
Nate Baber, Alberty’s attorney, said race was a factor in why troopers ignored Alberty’s testimony, while accepting the passenger’s story. Alberty is Black, the passenger is white.
The charges against Alberty were dropped in October, reported the Associated Press.
At the time she was charged, Springfield, Massachusetts-based Peter Pan described Alberty as an “exemplary” employee. A company official added he did not think Alberty acted intentionally.