All Articles Tagged "NYPD"
The New York City Police Department has been responsible for the deaths of many black men. The city has no problem dishing out million-dollar settlements for these crimes, but when it comes to actually persecuting the officers who used blatant force or overall poor judgment, justice is rarely served. It’s not only young Black men who are in danger; the NYPD has no problem targeting elderly blacks as well.
On a cold January day in 2011, the police stopped my parents to give my mother a summons for allegedly taking off her seat belt while my father was pulling up to a corner. She realized she had left her wallet at home by mistake because she was in a hurry out of the door that day to pick up her medication from the pharmacy. The NYPD officers refused to let her grab her prescription from the pharmacy they were all in front of that day so she could show them her name and address. They also refused to allow my father to drive home and get her ID and would not drive them or follow them to our home so they could get the wallet and verify her identity. So without any other options, my father walked. A blizzard had recently passed, so the ground was covered with snow and ice. While he was gone, a family friend who was passing by saw the police standing with my mother, who was 71 at the time, and became alarmed. He found out what was going on and went into the pharmacy to get my mother’s prescription. After the cops saw her name and address, they handed over the summons which they already had prepared and took off. Going to get my father, who was walking in the freezing cold, was not a thought. My mother was unable to drive because she had already taken her Lyrica, which is a controlled substance, so she sat there alone in the car and waited for my father to return. When he returned with the wallet, he realized his walk was done for nothing. On the drive home, he died behind the wheel from a massive heart attack in front of my mother.
At that time I was a senior at Norfolk State University. I was crushed when I found out the news. I was four months away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree and my father would not be there to watch me walk across the stage. And it was the NYPD’s fault.
After his death, my mother not only went through depression but was also traumatized by her husband of 52 years dying in front of her. As their truck sat in the middle of the street that day, she had to wave down someone to help. That isn’t easy for a 71-year-old with osteoporosis and heart problems among other health issues.
Five years later, the cops that were involved in my father’s death are still on the streets harassing people. This past March, a Facebook friend shared a series of posts from a young man detailing how an NYPD officer was harassing him about his legally-tinted windows on his car. I was disgusted when I saw it was one of the same police officers who caused my dad’s death.
It’s been four and a half years since we filed a lawsuit and nothing has happened. The other high-profile cases against NYPD officers had major media attention, which helped speed up their cases. There were a few news stories that ran in major newspapers and we appeared on the news, but overall the case has been swept under the rug. Those officers didn’t shoot my father, but they put him in a situation that led to his death. They could have let my father drive to get the ID while my mother sat with them and waited. They could’ve went into the pharmacy to get my mother’s medication themselves. He wasn’t the one being issued the summons, so why couldn’t he move his truck? Why couldn’t he go into the pharmacy? Why did he have to walk?
Watching the officers that killed Eric Garner not get indicted was infuriating and I fear that the same thing will happen in my father’s case. However, ex-officer Peter Liang was fired after his conviction of killing Akai Gurley. Though he was sentenced to only probation and community service, he is not on the force anymore, which would be an ideal outcome in my father’s case. A hefty settlement is meaningless when those cops can continue to terrorize people of color and kill them with their guns, merciless tactics and poor judgment. I pray that the case concerning my 72-year-old father’s death will be one of few where justice is actually served.
New York City police sergeant Kizzy Adonis has been internally charged due to the July 2014 death of Eric Garner caused by controversial choke hold, USA Today reported. She was also stripped of her gun and badge.
Adonis was a supervising officer on the scene during the time of the fatal incident According to an internal NYPD report, the sergeant said, “the perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and … he did not appear to get worse.” Garner’s death became a national topic when the video of his arrest on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes and untimely death went viral as he told the officer “I can’t breathe” nearly 11 times.
Head of Adonis’ union, Sgt. Ed Mullins, described the charge “ridiculous and political,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “She didn’t have to go there — she chose to go there to help out and look what happens,” he said, explaining that Commissioner William J. Bratton is to blame, not Adonis. “This incident stems from failed policies that ultimately led to the death of Eric Garner.”
Interestingly, in Dec. 2014, a grand jury decided to not indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who administered the controversial choke hold, for Garner’s death.
The New York Police Department is under fire now that Opal Gordon, a deaf and speech-impaired woman, has sued them for denying her a sign language interpreter for nearly 24 hours after she was arrested and left in jail overnight, according to The New York Daily News and papers filed in Manhattan Federal Court.
Gordon was arrested back in September while she was leaving Manhattan Family Court, where she was attending a custody case about her daughter. Allegedly, she had violated an order of protection. However, Gordon claims that the cops did not explain why she was being arrested nor did an officer offer her an interpreter. She also says that her Miranda rights were not read to her.
“The boss who runs the precinct signed to me and asked if I am deaf. I said ‘Yes,’” Gordon told the Daily News. Even still, after the police brought her to the 45th Bronx-located Precinct stationhouse, she sat there for two hours without a single officer calling for an interpreter or aiding in her communicating with them. Not even a piece of paper,” she said. After hours of no help or communication, Gordon claims to have repeatedly tried to signal for an interpreter but she was ignored. “No one would listen to me.”
According to Gordon’s lawsuit, it took 21 hours for the NYPD to get a sign language interpreter to Gordon’s aid.
Eric Baum and Andrew Rozynski, Gordon’s lawyers who also represent a number of deaf clients, said, “This is nothing new for the city.” The city and NYPD are supposed to be improving their treatment of the deaf community, but it seems as if they are doing the exact opposite.
“We will review the suit and respond accordingly once we are served,” a spokesman for the city Law Department said of the pending litigation.
Footage of the wrongful takedown and detainment of tennis star James Blake by an NYPD officer has been released. The video shows undercover officer James Frascatore tackling and slamming Blake to the ground before placing him in handcuffs outside of the Grand Hyatt hotel in midtown Manhattan. Blake was standing in front of the hotel waiting for his ride to the U.S. Open in Flushing Queens. Within 15 minutes, the officers realized they had the wrong guy and released him. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said that he personally apologized to Blake Thursday.
“I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident,” Bratton said in a statement, according to CNN. “Mr. Blake indicated he would be willing to meet with the Internal Affairs Bureau as our investigation continues.”
“We understand why Mr. Blake is troubled by what happened, and we hope he will accept our apology for the incident,” said Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office. “Mayor de Blasio’s effort to provide additional training for officers on building trust with minority communities is evidence of his concern.”
The police department said that officers mistook the 35-year-old for a suspect involved in an identity theft ring. Ironically, the suspect who officers mistook the athlete for was also misidentified, and had nothing to do with the scam. Frascatore has been placed on desk duty since the Wednesday incident. According to Page Six, he has also been stripped of his badge and gun pending the outcome of the NYPD’s internal probe.
One NYPD sergeant is facing sex abuse charges after he allegedly threw semen on a female coworker who reportedly declined his romantic advances.
According to the New York Daily News, Sgt. Michael Iscenko, 54, is accused of approaching the victim in a freight elevator at 1 Police Plaza in New York City on January 23 and throwing semen on her. Page Six reports that the fluids landed on her leg and shoe. It is unclear whether the victim was an officer or a civilian employee. Police sources say that the woman reported the incident immediately, and tests confirmed that the substance splattered on her was in fact semen. It is unclear if the semen was Iscenko’s, but the Manhattan district attorney’s office obtained a warrant ordering the divorced sergeant to submit a DNA sample to determine if the substance is a match.
NYPD sources say that the disgraced Sergeant had previously told the victim that he was interested in her.
“He was apparently so enamored by her that he threw semen on her,” the source said.
The suspect was taken into custody Wednesday morning and charged with misdemeanor sex abuse. He pled not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday. Bail was set at $3,000.
Tennis icon James Blake says that he was slammed to the ground and handcuffed after being approached by five plainclothes NYPD officers outside of his hotel in midtown Manhattan Wednesday.
According to the New York Daily News, the officers—who were all white—mistook the 35-year-old for a suspect in an identity theft ring that was operating in the area. Blake was waiting outside of the Grand Hyatt on East 42nd St. for a car to pick him up and to take him to Queens where he was making corporate appearances at the U.S. Open on behalf of Time-Warner Cable.
“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” said Blake, who sustained a cut on his left elbow and bruises on his left leg.
When asked if he believes race played a role in the incident, the athlete, who once ranked No. 4 in the world, had this to say:
“I don’t know if it’s as simple as that. To me, it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. In my mind, there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”
Just before the incident, Blake shared that he had just finished up answering questions for a writer from a tennis publication and was sending a text message when he looked up and saw a man in shorts charging at him.
“You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something. I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close. It’s blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn’t okay, but it seems that there’s no stopping it.”
He adds that he was initially under the impression that the man was just someone he went to high school with, but the officer—who was not wearing a badge—picked him up and slammed him to the ground before yelling at him to roll over on his face.
“Don’t say a word,” he recalled the officer saying to him.
“I’m going to do whatever you say. I’m going to cooperate. But do you mind if I ask what this is all about?” Blake responded.
“We’ll tell you. You are in safe hands,” the New York Native recalled the cop telling him.
“I didn’t feel very safe,” said Blake.
The other four officers eventually approached and surrounded him as well. After being handcuffed for approximately 15 minutes, cops realized that he wasn’t the person they were looking for and released him. The NYPD has since released a statement regarding the incident.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 9, 2015
NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster is making history with her forthcoming promotion.
The commanding officer of the NYPD’s Public Information Office and mother of two will be promoted to chief by the end of the month, making her the highest-ranking black woman in uniform in NYPD history.
Royster has nearly 30 years of experience under her belt, starting her career with the NYPD in 1985 as a police administrative aide. Since her start, the now veteran has been credited for being at the forefront of the NYPD gun buypack program, which is responsible for taking more than 8,000 weapons off the streets.
Her promotion will include a transfer to the NYPD Personnel Division, where she will be responsible for handling the recruitment process for police officers. While Royster declined commenting on her recent promotion, she did say that she was looking forward to her new position. The new assignment follows Commissioner Bill Bratton’s promise to diversify the force. However, a police source told the Daily News that Royster wasn’t given the job because of her race but instead her “macro view of the department.”
There’s a lot of talk surrounding diversity — or lack there of — in the police force and how employing more minorities could combat police misconduct. The problem is though, according to New York Police Department chief William Bratton (above behind the microphones), is that many Black men are not eligible to become cops because of their criminal record.
“We have a significant population gap among African-American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them,” Bratton is quoted in an interview with The Guardian.
Responding to widespread protests against several high-profile Black deaths at the hands of police, police departments augmented efforts to recruit non-white officers. However, a handful of hurdles are making the employment of Black police officers challenging. These obstacles include budget restrictions and the tense rapport between cops and the Black community.
Bratton also pointed out another glaring hurdle: too many Black men have been incarcerated. The NYPD chief admitted that this is a result of the controversial “stop-and-frisk” tactics, a practice that was ruled unconstitutional in 2013, which disproportionately targeted African Americans and Latinos.
As a result, Bratton said the “population pool [of eligible non-white officers] is much smaller than it might ordinarily have been”.
A convicted felon’s application is automatically tossed aside. Candidates who are guilty of domestic violence or dishonorably charged from the military also get rejected. Summonses, on the other hand, don’t automatically rule out an applicant, but they are taken into account during the vetting process.
Blacks are more likely to be taken in for low-level crimes, such as drinking on a stoop or smoking a joint, thanks to a strategy known as “broken windows.”
“Blacks and Hispanics [in NYC] received the vast majority of summonses for scores of common offenses, such as disorderly conduct (88%), loitering (89%), spitting (92%) and failure to have a dog license (91%),” according to NY Daily News.
“If [Bratton] didn’t stop people for nothing, he might have a bigger pool to hire from,” said Rochelle Bilal, vice-chair of the National Black Police Association and a former Philadelphia police officer. “It is a net that he set out for them.”
Though Bratton agreed to nix stop and frisk, broken windows, he says, is here to stay.
Robert Gangi, an anti-broken windows advocate, said jailing minorities for seemingly innocuous crimes hinders recruitment: “…The antagonism in the black community toward the police is a principal factor in why so few black men want to become police officers.”
In a follow up, the Daily News reports that Bratton says the article online is a “total misrepresentation” of what the Guardian printed. Nonetheless, he says the issue with Black men and their criminal history is the case.
“That’s well known… That’s not a byproduct of stop-and-frisk,” he said.
A mother’s attempt to show her son tough love ended with her being arrested and losing custody of her children.
According to The Huffington Post, Tyeesha Mobley called the authorities on her son Keyshawn, whom she hoped to teach a lesson about stealing, after she caught him trying to take $10 from her purse. Mobley and her two children met four responding officers at a nearby gas station and at first, things seemed to go well.
The mom claims that three of the four officers played along, but things went left shortly after the lighthearted exchange.
“Three of them was joking around with my son,” said Mobley, who went on to say that one officer told Keyshawn he would “end up in the police car” if he continued to steal.
The fourth officer, however, became irate over Mobley calling them in the first place.
“This is not our job,” Mobley claims the officer said. “You black b-tches don’t know how to take care of your kids.”
“You need to call the kids’ father, not us,” the officer allegedly went on. “We can’t raise your kids. Why are you wasting our time? We aren’t here to raise your kid. Why don’t you take your f-cking kid and leave!”
After noticing how irate the officer became, Mobley attempted to take her children and head back to their apartment, but she was stopped.
“Oh, where do you think you’re going?” the officer asked before putting her in handcuffs.
Naturally, she asked why she was being arrested, but her questions were only met with threats.
“If you’re going to say another f-cking word,” the officer allegedly said, “I’m going to knock your teeth down your throat.”
Mobley was tossed into the patrol car and kicked by the officer as her children looked on.
Another officer reportedly drove up during the incident and told the office arresting Mobley: “We are not supposed to act like this.”
“Black bitches like that,” the arresting officer allegedly responded. “This is how I treat them.”
The nightmare didn’t end there, unfortunately. Mobley was charged with child endangerment and lost custody of her boys for four long months that she says “felt like four years.” The charges were dismissed months later, but not before her boys were placed in the custody of a foster mother who Mobley says only spoke Spanish and mistreated them.
Last week, the mother of two filed a lawsuit against the NYPD Bronx Superior Court in which she claims that her family was “destroyed” by the experience.
“I just didn’t want my kids getting incarcerated,” she said of making the 911 call that would eventually change her life. “The one person who I thought would help me turned their backs on me.”
Mobley and her children are now in therapy trying to recover from the experience, which occurred nearly one year ago.
Update-3/23/2015: MadameNoire reached out to Akilah Brock’s attorney Michael S.Lamonsoff about the case and he revealed Brock was able to retrieve her car after she was discharged from Harlem Hospital. Attorney Lamonsoff also shared the incident has taken an emotional toll on Brock and prior to her release from the psych ward, her friends and family tried to have her released but were not successful. Because Brock’s lawsuit against the City Of New York is at federal level, the NYPD has not released a statement about the incident. Also, it should be noted the police officers did not test Brock for drugs or alcohol when she was initially pulled over.
Original Report- 3/23/2015:
In September 2014, 32-year-old Akilah Brock had her 2003 BMW 325Ci seized by the New York Police Department in Harlem because they suspected she was high on marijuana. Although they didn’t find marijuana or any illegal substances when her car was searched, police officers still confiscated her car. The day after her BMW was seized, Brock went to the NYPD’s Public Service Area 6 stationhouse in Harlem to retrieve her car and she soon found herself in an unimaginable situation: handcuffed and sent in an ambulance to Harlem Hospital’s psych ward.
Though Brock admitted she was a bit emotional about losing her car, she’s sure she didn’t behave in a manner that warranted police allegedly holding her down and a doctor inserting a needle into her while she was in the ambulance. Brock claims to have been knocked out by the sedative and when she awoke, she says she saw the doctor take off her underwear. Drifting in and out of consciousness, Brock says when she woke up again she found herself in Harlem Hospital with a robe on.
For eight days, Brock was held at Harlem Hospital and had to attend group therapy sessions while enduring injections of sedatives along with the drugs lorazepam and lithium. After the eighth day, doctors told Brock she was allowed to leave but didn’t give her a reason. Hospital documents show Brock was given the “master’s treatment plan” and noted to have the inability to test reality and was unemployed.
The New York Daily News reports the hospital’s case file for Brock stated: “Patient will verbalize the importance of education for employment and will state that Obama is not following her on Twitter.” The psych ward of Harlem Hospital believed Brock was delusional and suffered from bipolar disorder. The doctors didn’t believe President Obama followed Brock on Twitter and they were skeptical that she was employed at Astoria Bank. Brock told the New York Daily News: “I told (the doctor) Obama follows me on Twitter to show her the type of person I am. I’m a good person, a positive person. Obama follows positive people!”
Because of the ordeal, Brock is suing the City Of New York and Harlem Hospital for the treatment she endured. Harlem Hospital also charged Brock with a bill of $13,637.10, but decline to comment on the case. New York City’s Law Department plans to review Brock’s lawsuit.