Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages has called for the review of a former Nassau County police officer who used a racial slur in a recent Twitter video.
The video, posted on June 4, shows the former officer, identified as Edward Serrao by Newsday, using the n-word towards protesters in Merrick. It went viral, accumulating more than 150,000 views on its original upload and more through various reposts.
Serrao is also a former coach for the Nassau County Police Activity League, an outreach program that hosts sports teams for kids. The PAL logo can be seen on Serrao’s shirt in the video.
“While it is important not to paint all police officers with a broad brush, in my opinion, former officer Serrao displayed obvious racial bias, and there is serious concern that such bias may have affected the way he carried out his official duties,” wrote Solages, a Democrat from Valley Stream, in a letter to County Executive Laura Curran and District Attorney Madeline Singas. “Convictions secured against minority defendants based on former officer Serrao’s testimony could be tainted by the blatant racism that he displayed.”
In the letter, dated June 9, Solages requested a review of Serrao’s arrest and conviction records, as well as any testimonies he gave as an acting officer.
The video "captured an unfortunate incident in which a former employee was disrespectful and antagonistic using a racial slur towards a protester," said Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder in a joint statement on June 5. "In no way does his behavior reflect the commitment that the Nassau County Police Department has to protect and serve all people.”
Serrao has not been a member of the department for two years, according to the statement.
In a statement, Nassau County PAL confirmed Serrao was previously an officer, but has not been affiliated with PAL "as a paid employee or volunteer since 2015."
"We consider this behavior abhorrent and against our values," the statement reads. "For 80 years, the NCPAL has strived to prevent juvenile delinquency and aid in the development of good citizenship through positive interaction of youths and police officers."