BOSTON (CN) – Another black professor at Harvard claims Cambridge police arrested him on bogus charges. Neurologist Samuel Counter, 62, a Harvard professor for 35 years, says six officers arrested him in his home, 3 years ago, on a false report that he had tried to push his daughter out of a moving car.
In his pro se federal complaint, Counter says he was arguing with one of his daughters about her high school grades as he drove her home on Dec. 18, 2006. He claims his daughter demanded he stop the car so she could walk home, and he did stop, two blocks from his house, but she calmed down and he drove her the rest of the way home.
He says a neighbor “subsequently called the police and reported that Mr. Counter had tried pushing Ms. Counter out of his car while it was moving.”
Counter says the report was false, but at 8:30 that night, six officers came to his home, handcuffed him and arrested him.
“Mr. Counter was then taken to the Cambridge Police Headquarters where he was placed in a cell and he was later charged with domestic assault and battery,” according to the complaint.
The complaint adds: “On Dec. 27, 2006, Mr. Counter received a letter from the Department of Children and Families (‘DCF’) informing him that the complaint of child abuse/neglect stemming from the alleged incident and filed against him had not been supported by reasonable cause. Officer [William] Macedo had informed DCF that he had ‘some concerns that mother may be behind the report being filed’ and was ‘unclear as to the situation involving the motor vehicle.'”
Counter and the mother of the child are divorced. He claims at least one Cambridge Police officer bears a grudge against him for his previous complaints of police harassment.
Counter seeks damages for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and civil rights violations. His complaint does not indicate why he waited 3 years to file suit.
He names as defendants Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy, Officer Macedo, and Cambridge Police Sgt. John Fulkerson, who allegedly bore the grudge.
Allegations of racism in the Cambridge Police made national news this summer after Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. claimed he was falsely arrested in his own house. The brouhaha led to the famous “Beer summit” at the White House, with Gates, the arresting office and President Obama.