Jeffrey Lurie’s Brother-In-Law Alleges Rampant Racial Profiling by Radnor Police
Nick Lai was hired by the Radnor Township Police Department in May 2013. Just two years later, he’s no longer employed by the department, and he’s filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Radnor police in Philadelphia’s federal court, alleging discrimination.
Lai is Vietnamese, the brother of well-regarded Philadelphia restaurateur Benny Lai and Tina Lurie, who married Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie in 2013. Lai says that he was discriminated against by members of the department because of his ethnicity. He also alleges rampant racial profiling on the part of the Radnor Police Department.
Prior to joining the Radnor force, Lai worked for the Philadelphia Police Department for 17 years and investigated Asian organized crime for the Pennsylvania State Attorney General’s Office. He made numerous arrests for murder, rape and armed robbery while in Philadelphia. But, he maintains, his career took a nosedive when he started working for Radnor.
In the suit, Lai names four Radnor police officers who allegedly “racially targeted” him. He also points a finger at Radnor Police Chief Bill Colarulo. “Chief Colarulo exemplifies the disrespect and ignorance I faced daily because I was the only non-white officer,” Lai writes in his complaint.
Colarulo was a longtime Philadelphia cop, who moved to the top position in Radnor in 2011. Colarulo’s career in Philadelphia was not without controversy. Three white police officers sued the city, alleging that Colarulo retaliated against them when they tried to shine a light on racial discrimination being perpetrated against a group of black officers. The cops won that suit to the tune of a $10 million jury verdict, later reduced to $900,000 by a judge.
Lai also dedicates a significant portion of his complaint to describing racial profiling by Radnor police. “I have 17 years experience in the police field and never witnessed as much prejudice or racial profiling until I was hired by Radnor Police Department,” he writes. Lai goes on to describe a number of incidents. In one, Radnor cop Mark Stiansen was riding with Lai and told him to make a u-turn to stop a young black male who was walking on the side of the road. “I was forced to stop a black male for no apparent reason,” he claims in the suit. “I had no choice but to stop him.”
He goes on:
I then again asked Officer Stiansen why we were stopping him. Officer Stiansen did not answer. I got out of the vehicle and started a conversation with the black male who appeared to be in his late 20s. The male in question wanted to know why we were stopping him. I told him that it was dark. I asked, “Are you lost in the area or [is] your vehicle broken down?” Officer Stiansen immediately interrupted the conversation and said, “Nick make sure he has some form of identification on him and check for warrant.” The male did not have any warrants and therefore we had no reason to detain him. This event was the most embarrassing moment in my life. Officer Stiansen was racially profiling black people in Radnor Township, Delaware County.
Lai’s tenure at the Radnor Police Department ended recently, and he claims that poor performance reports written against him included false statements made by other cops.
“This is made up information created to get me out of Radnor… because I caught the red-handed racial profiling and wrongdoing,” he claims. Lai is seeking unspecified damages.
Neither Stainsen nor Colarulo responded to requests for comment.