While being deposed for the trial, a senior NYPD official who was present during the arrests [of 14 Occupy Wall Street protesters who were arrested for disorderly conduct] was unable to point out in videos of the event a single moment when any of the defendants committed any act of disorderly conduct.
NYPD has a lot to explain. Police are meant to serve and protect the people, not intimidate and antagonize.
Matthew McKnight writes about a case challenging the N.Y. Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy: “The relationship between law enforcement and communities that the N.Y.P.D. has determined contain high concentrations of crime—thus requiring a heightened police presence—is a complicated, quarrelsome one”: http://nyr.kr/Zy8Rsb
Here, see a selection of photojournalist Nina Berman’s work documenting community outrage around the N.Y.P.D.’s controversial stop-&-frisk policy: http://nyr.kr/NWEGWY
NYPD Officer Blows Whistle On Stop & Frisk, Superior’s Told Him To Target “Male Blacks 14 to 21” (Must Read)
As hearings are under way to investigate New York City’s stop and frisk policy, one police officer is testifying that he was told by superiors to target young black men between the ages of 14 and 21.
Stop and frisk is a method of searching people in which a cop is able to stop someone he or she suspects of a crime, and is able to frisk that individual if they feel that there is some justification. New York City policy made 685,724 stops as part of the policy in 2011 alone. In total, they have made over 5 million stops, and 85 percent of those stopped were black or Latino. 88% were innocent, meaning they were not arrested or given a summons.
Officer Pedro Serrano, in court to testify yesterday, played a covert recording he’d obtained of an interraction with his superior where he was told the race of people to target, though not that he should stop everyone of that race:
Stop “the right people, the right time, the right location,” Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack is heard saying on the recording.
“He meant blacks and Hispanics,” Officer Pedro Serrano, who made the secret recording, testified Thursday in Manhattan federal court.
“So what am I supposed to do: Stop every black and Hispanic?”Serrano was heard saying on the tape, which was recorded last month at the 40th Precinct in the Bronx.[…]
“I have no problem telling you this,” the inspector said on the tape. “Male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem [to] tell you this, male blacks 14 to 21.”
During cross examination, City lawyer Brenda Cooke got Serrano to admit that McCormack never said he wanted Serrano to stop all blacks and Hispanics.
“Those specific words, no,” he told her.
The news about targeting black men tracks with yesterday’s revelations that the NYPD set quotas for arrests. It also explains the fact that, in 2011, NYPD made more stops of young black men than there actually are young black men in the city.
Serrano’s tape and testimony were introduced as evidence in a class-action lawsuit against the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic brought by four black New Yorkers who claim they were targeted because of their race.
Also, the first of several tapes surreptitiously made by Brooklyn cop Adrian Schoolcraft made its debut at the trial. The audio he recorded proved that the police department ‘manipulated’ crime reports to make to it seem like crime decreased in NYC.
After the NYPD found out about Adrian’s incriminating evidence, they broke into his apartment, handcuffed him and locked him in a insane asylum for 6 days against his will to silence him.
NYPD Enters Building Without A Warrant, Breaks Landlords Leg And Handcuffs Her To Hospital Bed For 17 Days
A Brooklyn landlord says she was shackled to a hospital bed for 17 days after cops broke her leg during a wrongful arrest in the hallway of her Flatbush building.
Karen Brim, 42, claims an NYPD officer threw her to the ground, severely fracturing her left leg, after she identified herself as the owner of the Utica Avenue building and asked why the cops were there, according to a new lawsuit.
The single mother was arrested and brought to Kings County Hospital, where she needed multiple surgeries, plates and screws to fix the bones broken in a tussle with Officer Timothy Reilly.
Adding insult to injury, court papers say, was the way police restrained her for more than two weeks during her hospital stay, with one officer posted outside her room.
“She was hand- and ankle-cuffed to her hospital bed,” lawyer Marshall Bluth told The Post. “They would not allow family or friends to enter. She wasn’t presented before a judicial hearing officer for 17 days. It was pretty egregious.”
A state court spokesman said the 24-hour standard for arraignment in criminal cases doesn’t apply when defendants are hospitalized.
But Brim was conscious and incapable of fleeing because of her injuries and could have been arraigned at any point, Bluth said.
“She’s not a flight risk. She cannot run out of the hospital. There’s no need to handcuff and ankle-cuff her. Being handcuffed to a bed — it’s like being a caged animal. It’s outrageous,” he said. “It’s beyond belief. Not for one day, not for one week, but for 17 days?”
The confrontation with cops unfolded on April 30, 2012, when Reilly, Officer Ralph Giordano and an unidentified partner spotted four neighborhood teens hanging out on a roof adjacent to Brim’s building. They chased the youths into Brim’s building, entering via the roof, as Brim was mopping a hallway, according to a police source and Brim’s Brooklyn federal court lawsuit.
Brim claims things got physical when she protested that the kids were visitors and not trespassing.
Cops maintain that Brim was the violent one — swinging a broom at Reilly, smacking him in the head and putting her hand around his neck, according to a criminal complaint.
The cops arrested the teens — Brenado Simpson, Clifton Bailey, Robean Romans and Distephano Destin — for trespassing. The charges were later dropped, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said.
Brim was charged with assault, resisting arrest, menacing, harassment and obstructing governmental administration. Her criminal case is pending.
Brim insists in court papers the cops lied.
“She’s mopping the common areas, as she does once every two weeks or so, and suddenly police officers descend from the roof into her building and proceed to beat her up, basically,” Bluth said. “No one really knows for sure why they did this. They basically stormed her building.”
The cops did not have a warrant, according to Brim, who’s owned the three-story building for more than a decade and operates a beauty salon on the first floor.
Brim is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit, which accuses the officers of using “unnecessary and unreasonable” force, false arrest, falsifying evidence and violating her constitutional rights.
It was the second time in a year officer Reilly was accused of being violent with the public. Brooklyn resident Samuel Semple sued the city last year after Reilly allegedly “forcibly dragged” him out of a restaurant. Semple, who suffered minor injuries, got a $10,000 settlement in January.
The city will review Brim’s allegations once it gets a copy of the lawsuit, a Law Department spokeswoman said.
Hundreds of protesters converged in Midtown yesterday to form a ‘Queer Bloc’ and counter-protest the Westboro Baptist Church with Bash Back! NYC. The crowd was 200+ strong before WBC arrived. Another few dozen protesters with the NYC Anonymous group, MotherFuckery, joined the counter-protest in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel as well.
After about an hour of dancing to music, making signs and chanting; a measly two picketers from the Westboro Baptist Church arrived with homophobic signs. The 200+ queers and allies quickly surrounded them, forcing the NYPD to create a second set of barricades around them with officers in between. All the silly string, glitter and rainbow flags must have been too gay of a sight because the WBC packed up after 20 minutes, cutting the picket short by 40 minutes.
Look at who the police protect. They gas, punch, kettle, kick and baton OWS demonstrators, but they protect the heaving mass of shit called Westboro. Maybe OWS should declare themselves a church?!?!?
A group of homophobic cops committed “a hate crime” at a gay pride party in Brooklyn early Sunday, beating up the host while screaming hateful slurs, the alleged victim told the Daily News.
Officers from the 77th Precinct, responding to reports of noise at the Sterling Place party, “bum-rushed” Jabbar Campbell after he opened the door of his apartment.
“They were screaming and cursing saying things like ‘fag,’ ‘homo,’ ‘a—hole,’ just a bunch of anti-gay slurs,” Campbell, a 32-year-old forensic specialist, told The News.
Campbell said he was beaten by the officers, who bloodied his mouth, split open his lip and caused swelling to his left eye. He was then handcuffed and charged with resisting arrest — and spent 24 hours in police custody.
Campbell filed legal paperwork Wednesday revealing his intention to sue the city.
The incident began around 2:50 a.m. with two cops responding to a noise complaint at Jabbar’s Crown Heights building. The officers told revelers — some dressed in drag — outside Campbell’s home to keep it down.
Those officers left, but about 10 minutes later, another group of cops arrived, Campbell said.
The officers buzzed at the locked door — and one even reached out to disable the surveillance camera in the vestibule.
“They were trying to open the door, but it was locked,” Campbell said. “They were banging with their flashlights.”
After about 10 minutes, Campbell let the officers in.
“They said, ‘Stop resisting arrest.’ I said, ‘I am not resisting.’”
But the cops beat him up anyway, he said.
“I blacked out. I was concerned for my life,” said Campbell.
The victim’s lawyer said the officer’s attempt to disable the camera would be a key part of the case.
“They were trying to conceal the evidence by turning the camera away,” said the lawyer, Herb Subin. “They committed a hate crime inside a gay pride event.”
The NYPD did not respond to an initial request for comment.
Note: A protest will be held on Monday the 21st at 1313 Sterling Place Brooklyn @ 4pm to demand justice for Campbell.
Three men were arrested after officers saw them lugging something heavy down Mermaid. It turned out to be a small safe. Officers broke open the safe, found a pistol inside and charged the men with possession of a weapon.
Why does the NYPD hate freedom? Sure, it looks like the guys stole a small safe. Charge them with that. But a weapons charge because the mystery safe happened to have a gun in it?
And I’m sorry, but wasn’t the safe evidence? I’m wondering if they had the actual right to “break into it” rather than identify the owner who was burgled and get the damn combo. What if there were chemical or biological agents in there?
Judge rules that millions can sue NYPD over stop-and-frisk
October 23, 2012
A federal judge in New York has given the go ahead for a class action lawsuit to move forward against the city’s police department over allegations that its stop-and-frisk program has continuously allowed officers to discriminate against minorities.
In a ruling made Wednesday by US District Judge Shira Scheindlin, the pending suit against the NYPD, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others was granted class action status.
Authorities seem nonplussed.
When asked for his take on Judge Scheindlin’s decision, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told the New York Times that he had no comment because the litigation was continuing, but offered one quip: “It is what it is.”
Mayor Bloomberg also said he couldn’t comment specifically on the ruling, but, according to the Associated Press, had some words nonetheless.
“Nobody should ask Ray Kelly to apologize – he’s not going to and neither am I – for saving 5,600 lives. And I think it’s fair to say that stop, question and frisk has been an essential part of the NYPD’s work; it’s taken more than 6,000 guns off the streets in the last eight years, and this year we are on pace to have the lowest number of murders in recorded history. … We’re not going to do anything that undermines that trend and threatens public safety,” said the mayor.
For others, however, it doesn’t seem as clear cut; in her ruling, Judge Scheindlin decries, “First, suspicionless stops should never occur.”
The current case began to take hold all the way back in 2008 when attorneys representing four plaintiffs first began seeking class action status. The four original named plaintiffs say that they were wrongfully stopped and frisked based on their race. In only 2011, the NYPD stopped 685,724 New Yorkers, reports the American Civil Liberties Union. In all, 89 percent of those stopped were either black or Latino. Of the nearly 700,000 cases in that year alone, 88 percent of the people stopped were found innocent. Such statistics are largely typical for previous years, although one thing that has changed as time has gone on is the number of pedestrians stopped by law enforcement.
“[T]he policing policies that the city has implemented over the past decade and half have led to a dramatic increase in the number of pedestrian stops, to the point of now reaching almost 600,000 a year,” Judge Scheindlin wrote of the case earlier this year.
Now anyone that feels they have been victimized similarly by the New York Police Department by means of an invasive and unwarranted search since 2005 can add their name to the case.
By way of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policies, police officers in the Big Apple are allowed to conduct searches of suspicious persons if they have reason to believe that they are committing a crime. Statistics documenting the history of the program reveal, however, that skin color seems to play a pivotal role when the police are left to decide who is frisked and who isn’t.
Judge Scheindlin says it is unlikely that many people will sign on to the case, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many who would be excluded from doing so. The NYPD has already stopped and frisked more than 200,000 people on the streets of New York in the first three months of 2012 alone; between 2004 and 2009, around 2.8 million similar stops were carried out.
“This case presents an issue of great public concern: the disproportionate number of Blacks and Latinos, as compared to Whites, who become entangled in the criminal justice system,” the judge writes in her ruling. “The specific claims raised in this case are narrower but they are raised in the context of the extensively documented racial disparities in the rates of stops, arrests, convictions, and sentences that continue through the present day.”
Elsewhere in her ruling, Judge Scheindlin says that the NYPD’s arguments in favor of the program appear “cavalier”and display “a deeply troubling apathy towards New Yorkers’ most fundamental constitutional rights.”
In a statement offered to the AP, the law office for the city of New York says, “We respectfully disagree with the decision and are reviewing our legal options.”
In the words of NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, “It is what it is” - Legalized racial profiling.
The shaky and frenetic video, lasting less than a minute, appears to show two New York police officers holding a man on the floor, with one repeatedly slamming his right fist into the man’s face.
The man, Luis Solivan, 19, was later charged with assaulting an officer, but his case was dismissed after a grand jury watched the video, which an acquaintance shot through an apartment window in the Bronx, his lawyers say. Now, that same footage may emerge as crucial evidence in a civil rights lawsuit that Mr. Solivan’s lawyers filed on Monday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
The lawsuit charges that the officers, after chasing Mr. Solivan into his family’s apartment on University Avenue on Nov. 14, engaged in a “brutal and sadistic” beating beyond what the video captured, also using pepper spray and slamming his head against a wall after he was handcuffed.
The officers have provided a different account. In a criminal complaint against Mr. Solivan, they charged that he attacked both officers and tried to take one of their guns. But a Bronx grand jury declined to indict Mr. Solivan on any of the charges.
Ilann M. Maazel, a lawyer representing Mr. Solivan, said that but for the video, “I think there’s a real likelihood that the grand jury would have indicted him.”
“What it shows is shocking,” Mr. Maazel added. “It revealed that the police did not tell the truth and they wanted to put an innocent man in jail, potentially for many years.”
A police spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said in a brief statement that Mr. Solivan, as the officers had claimed, tried to grab one of their guns. He added, without elaborating, that Mr. Solivan “would not cooperate” with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The lawsuit names the officers as Thomas Dekoker and Brian R. O’Keeffe. In an unrelated case, Officer Dekoker was one of three police defendants found liable this summer in a jury trial over allegations of using excessive force against a man after responding to a call in the Bronx in 2008.
The jury awarded $500,000 in punitive damages and $1 in compensatory damages against the three; the city has asked that the verdict be overturned.
Bloomberg is now the 11th richest man in the USA, 20th richest man in the world.
His wealth grew more than 5x since he took office in 2002. He used his wealth to change the term limit laws in NYC so he can run for a third term in 2008.
Just last month Bloomberg banned food donations to the homeless in NYC (which is at a record high).
Let that sink in for a minute.