A shocking audio recording shows NYPD officers callingan African-American teenager a “fucking mutt,” and threatening him with repeated violence during a stop-and-frisk of the 16-year-old Harlem student.
The profanity-laced clip, obtained by The Nation, exposes the racist behavior and violent predisposition by the three plainclothes officers who stopped the student, named Alvin, simply because he “kept looking back” at them. (more…)
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…)
HARLEM — The NYPD has created a “wanted” poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them “professional agitators” who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.
The flyer featured side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 25, and warned officers to be on guard against them. It was spotted by multiple people, including the couple, when it was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house last Thursday, where residents met for precinct council meeting. “Be aware that above subjects are known professional agitators,” read the flyer, which bears the NYPD shield and a seal of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division. It also gave the home address of the couple. (more…)
Police barricades allegedly meant to “crack down on drug-related gang violence” in Harlem are now the source of controversy themselves. For the last two weeks, police have been putting up metal barricades at 129th Street between Fifth and Seventh Avenue to check IDs of people going in and out of the blocks. If individuals do not live on the block, they have to get a resident to come and vouch for them. Police said the barricades were set up following the shooting of a 25-year-old man while he was playing basketball earlier this month. Authorities said they received word from community leaders that there was going to be some sort of retaliation from gang members because of the shooting.
Some locals say it is a good measure because police are stopping violence, but others say they are concerned because it is like putting the entire community on lockdown. “Some people have bags, they have to put their groceries down to show ID? I don’t think that’s right, do you?” said one local. “I’m an old woman, I can’t be showing my ID every time I walk.” “They screen people, but then you’ve got other people that are new to the block that come in vehicles and I’ve seen them waving through, you know, so that’s one of the downsides of the checkpoint, that it creates selective screening and stuff like that,” said one resident. “I don’t think it’s effective, really.” (more…)
The father of Ramarley Graham, the unarmed teen who was shot and killed by NYPD officer Richard Haste in February, expressed his disappointment and anger after fellow officers applauded in Haste’s support outside a Bronx courtroom on Wednesday. Franclot Graham told DNAinfo, “It just goes to show they’re all part of the same thing. They were cheering him on for killing someone.”
After Haste posted his $50,000 bail on Wednesday, Graham’s wife Constance Malcolm similarly said, “That’s how they work. You see it everyday.” An attorney for the Graham family further denounced the insensitive display and said, “There is nothing to cheer here. A young man lost his life, and that is the man who took that life. It puts salt in the wounds.” (more…)
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York Police Department officer has been indicted in the shooting in February of an unarmed man who was pursued into his Bronx home amid a crackdown on street corner drug dealing, according to a law enforcement official.
Officer Richard Haste, 30, is to surrender Wednesday morning to face manslaughter charges in the death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the indictment hadn’t been made public. (more…)
As the Bronx community met with the New York City Police Department on Saturday to talk about Thursday’s shooting of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, surveillance video that was released and first aired on NY1 shows the unarmed teenager entering his home moments before he was killed.
Authorities say Ramarley Graham fled from narcotics officers who approached him on White Plains Road and 228th Street in Wakefield at around 3 p.m. Thursday. The officers put over the radio two separate times that they thought Graham had a gun. Police say they ordered the teen to stop but he went into his house on 229th Street.
Officers followed Graham into the house’s second-floor bathroom, where the teen was fatally shot and found to be unarmed. The pursuit was captured on surveillance video released on Saturday by the lawyer of the landlord of Graham’s family. In that video, Graham can be seen walking up to the house and entering through the front door. Seconds later, police officers are seen running up to the house. Some try to kick open the front door, while others search for alternate entrances. (more…)
A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas. The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.
NYPD Detectives unleash bombshell
Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
“Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.
“I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy,” Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
He made clear he wasn’t about to pass off the two legit arrests he had made in the bar to Tavarez.
“As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division,” he said. (more…)
On Friday NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly issued a directive to all precincts ordering them to stop arresting New Yorkers for small quantities of marijuana if the marijuana is not in plain view.
This is a major reversal for a department that took great pride in its aggressive policing policy. Conducting 600,000 stop-and-frisks, the NYPD made more than 50,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2010. Although marijuana is decriminalized in New York, making possession only a ticketable offense, police have exploited a loophole in the law, routinely tricking and intimidating citizens into “voluntarily” revealing their contraband. This so-called “brandishing” of marijuana is a misdemeanor crime. (more…)
***Pete Rock and family were not hurt in this incident.***
There was a fight somewhere outside or near the venue. Inside the venue was a fun party. The police entered the building ordering people to leave because of the fight on the street and then they began attacking party-goers. Business as usual at the NYPD.
More than 600,000 people were stopped and questioned by police last year – the highest number since the NYPD began releasing the data in 2002. Police stopped 601,055 people in 2010, an increase of about 4.3% from the 575,304 stopped the year before. Of those stopped, about 14% were given summonses or arrested. The remaining 86% were questioned, but not charged or issued a summons. It’s not clear how many were frisked.
Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the numbers show glaring disparities between whites and people of color stopped by police. Black and Latino men accounted for 85% of the stops last year. “Unfortunately, the pattern of stopping innocent New Yorkers continues,” Lieberman said. “The pattern of stopping enormous numbers of overwhelmingly African-American and Latino men continues.” (more…)
The wrong color for comfort?
An NYPD cop whose wife called 911 for help against a gang of thugs says he was brutally beaten by baton-wielding fellow officers who stormed his Queens home. Larry Jackson suffered a broken right hand and multiple bruises from kicks and billy-club blows he said he got from the men in blue called to his home when a gunman menaced guests at his daughter’s birthday party. “To get my butt beat like that was unnecessary,” said the six-year veteran assigned to the 110th Precinct. “We called the police, and this is what happened to me.”
“I’m shocked, angry and disappointed,” said the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Jackson.
Prosecutors and the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau are probing his claims.
His hand in a cast, he met with the Daily News on Wednesday and lifted his shirt to show the scars from Sunday’s early morning confrontation. Jackson, who is black, said the excessive force by the cops, who were white, might have been racially motivated.
“They didn’t treat me like a house-owner calling for help,” he said. “Everyone who lives in the 113th Precinct is not a perp.” (more…)