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OFFICER NAMED IN LAWSUIT FOR FORCING WOMEN TO KISS

Two women who were headed to a gay bar were ordered by a police officer to kiss before he would let them continue their trip, according to a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 2 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accused police Sgt. Daniel Engel of confronting four women who stopped at a DWI checkpoint in Queens Village on March 22 to ask officers directions to the bar.

Engel, a command officer in a Queens task force, allegedly asked them about their sexual identities and habits before asking if they were lesbians.

After two women in the front seat acknowledged they were lovers, Engel directed them to kiss each other, the lawsuit said. When they protested, he insisted that they kiss before being allowed to leave, it added. After the women complied, Engel said, "That was excellent" and allowed them to leave, the lawsuit said.

The episode was recorded on audiotape by Officer Michael Ortiz, who filed the civil rights lawsuit. He tape-recorded his interactions with Engel and filed the lawsuit because of an ongoing feud between the two men.

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