Officer in Ticket-Fixing Inquiry Is Accused of Trying to Kill Witness
A New York City officer accused in a broad investigation of ticket-fixing conspired with his wife to use money from his police pension to try to have one of the main witnesses against him murdered, prosecutors in the Bronx charged in an indictment unsealed on Thursday. The officer, Jose Ramos, 43, and his wife, Wanda Abreu, 39, were led into a courtroom in handcuffs for their arraignment on Thursday afternoon. Both pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy and a single count of criminal solicitation. “The two defendants have conspired to murder a witness,” a prosecutor, Omer Wiczyk, told Acting Justice Steven Barrett of State Supreme Court. “They were willing to pay a fee, but it was critical to them not to be involved.” It was the latest and most serious accusation in an investigation that has unsettled police precincts in the Bronx.
In October, 16 officers were indicted — 11 on charges related to ticket-fixing — as a result of a lengthy inquiry. The inquiry began in late 2008 with an anonymous complaint against Officer Ramos, who worked in the South Bronx in the 40th Precinct, and eventually led to over two dozen wiretaps, many of them on the cellphones of police union delegates and trustees, several officials have said. When charges against the officers were announced in October, Officer Ramos was accused of two dozen crimes, including attempted robbery, attempted grand larceny, transporting what he thought was heroin for drug dealers and revealing the identity of a confidential informer. At that time, Ms. Abreu was charged with filing a fraudulent insurance claim. (more…)
A member of the New Orleans Police Dept. has been suspended without pay after incendiary comments attributed to him about the killing of Trayvon Martin were found posted online. Jason Giroir, the officer, is under investigation after comments were posted on a story about a local rally for Martin published on the WWL-TV website.
“Act like a Thug Die like one!” one comment reads.
Later, Giroir—who identified himself as “Works at NOPD”—responded to another commenter who claimed the initial comment was racially insensitive: “Eddie come on down to our town with a ‘Hoodie’ and you can join Martin in HELL and talk about your racist stories!:-P” (more…)
It’s more than ticket-fixing chatter investigators caught on their wiretaps: Cops are also heard talking trash about the people they’re paid to protect, sources said. The wiretap recordings at the heart of the probe captured conversations rife with racist and inflammatory remarks, sources told the Daily News.
“There’s overtly racist language,” said one source. “And it gets a lot worse than that.”
The shocking language could cause the scandal to spiral far beyond the 17 cops already indicted, tainting cases of hundreds of officers caught on tape, legal experts said. “If a Bronx jury hears a cop call someone a n—-r or an animal, everything else they say goes out thewindow,” said one veteran defenselawyer with a client who wasarrested by a cop implicated in the scandal.
The Bronx investigation – which began as a probe into a cop suspected of drug ties – quickly grew as officers were caught on tape discussing fixing tickets and other wrongdoing, prosecutors have alleged. In the end, 17 cops – many of them union delegates – were indicted on Friday. Dozens of others will likely face departmental charges, sources said, and some already have. (more…)
(CNN) — Closing Britain’s highest-selling newspaper, the 168-year-old News of the World, with just three days’ notice in the wake of its phone-hacking scandal may feel like a nuclear option. In practice, it makes perfect sense for Rupert Mudoch’s News Corporation. (For more on this international scandal click here
We should not be deceived into thinking this is a decision rooted in self-recrimination, apology or a belated embrace of journalistic ethics. It is a matter of straightforward commercial self-interest.
This unfolding scandal was already hitting News of the World revenues.
Several advertisers had pulled their ads from this Sunday’s edition, with many threatening to maintain a boycott until the police investigation had been completed. Some distribution outlets were refusing to sell it. Many loyal readers swore that they would never buy it again. (more…)
Long Before Rodney King got beaten almost to death by cops (on camera) there was a problem with police treatment of African Americans.We realized even with cameras of abuse the police were getting off free.The Police chief during the rodney king event, Daryl Gates died yesterday (but no rest in peace to him) on the same day another Rodney King type event happened.
In a Chicago suburb, a police officer’s own camera caught him beating an unarmed motorist repeatedly with a metal baton.
Officer James Mandarino was charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery, and was released on $50,000 bail. He is on administrative leave from the Streamwood Police Department.
On March 28, Mandarino, a 15-year veteran of the police force, followed Ronald Bell in his car after he screeched his tires, authorities said.The seven-minute video, captured by the squad car camera, shows Bell, 28, complying with the officer’s orders as he kneels on the ground. Then, Mandarino unleashes a series of blows, striking him 15 times with the baton until Bell collapses, throwing his hands up to protect himself. The tape also showed Mandarino using a Taser on the car’s passenger as he left the vehicle. (more…)