Judge Rules NYPD Must Disclose Surveillance of Black Lives Matter Protesters Under Freedom of Information Law

NYPD authorities “make blanket assertions and fail to particularize or distinguish their surveillance or undercover techniques and records,” Mendez wrote. (SAM COSTANZA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

article by Stephen Rex Brown via nydailynews.com

The New York Police Department must disclose documents and video revealing surveillance of Black Lives Matter protestors at Grand Central Terminal in 2014 and 2015, a judge has ruled. The case, brought by protester James Logue, challenged the NYPD’s denial of a Freedom of Information Law request for information on its monitoring of rallies following the police killings of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Logue decided to file the request after suspecting that police were “compiling dossiers” on individuals at the peaceful protest, his attorney David Thompson said. The NYPD had argued that revealing its tactics would interfere with law enforcement work. But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez ruled the NYPD could not decline to comply with the law on such “overly broad” grounds.

NYPD authorities “make blanket assertions and fail to particularize or distinguish their surveillance or undercover techniques and records,” Mendez wrote, adding that the department had failed to show why the use of redactions could not protect ongoing investigative work.

The judge noted that the MTA and Metro-North, which also monitored the rallies, responded to Logue’s FOIL request with some paperwork. Mendez ordered the NYPD to comply with Logue’s request within 30 days. He signed the ruling last Monday, though it was made public Wednesday.

To read more, go to: NYPD must disclose surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters – NY Daily News

Derrick Deacon of Brooklyn, 58, Awarded $6 Million After Imprisoned 24 Years on Wrongful Murder Conviction

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Derrick Deacon, 58, hugs his attorney Rebecca Freedman, at State Supreme Court after being acquitted for the 1989 robbery and murder of a 16-year-old named Anthony Winn. (JESSE WARD/JESSE WARD FOR NEW YORK DAILY NE)

A Brooklyn man who spent more than 24 years in prison for a murder conviction that was later thrown out by an appeals court has accepted the city’s offer of $6 million to settle his federal lawsuit, the Daily News has learned.

Derrick Deacon was re-tried for the murder in 2013 by the office of then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, and the jury acquitted him after deliberating merely nine minutes.  “Based upon newly discovered evidence which implicated another man as the actual killer, the court vacated Mr. Deacon’s conviction and granted him a new trial,” Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the city Law Department said in a statement.

“We have determined that a settlement of this civil suit is fair and in the best interests of the City.”  Deacon, 61, was convicted of robbing and killing Anthony Wynn in April 1989 inside an East Flatbush building. A key eyewitness who pocketed a $1,000 Crimestoppers reward from the NYPD fingered him as the murderer.

But the case began to unravel in 2001 when a federal informant who had been a member of a violent gang called the Patio Crew gave the feds the name of the real killer. The Appellate Division for the Second Department reversed Deacon’s conviction in 2013, but the D.A.’s office refused to drop the case against him.

“The case should have never been retried and the acquittal after nine minutes was a slap in the face of the D.A.’s office,” his lawyer Glenn Garber said Monday. “This settlement is some level of redemption and compensation for Derrick’s suffering.”

To read more, go to: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-man-6m-24-years-wrongfully-prison-article-1.2852913

Officers Caught on Video Arresting Mailman Glenn Grays Removed from Posts, NYPD Commissioner Bratton Says

Mailman Glenn Grays; NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton (photo via dnainfo.com)

CROWN HEIGHTS — Three officers and a lieutenant caught on video arresting an on-duty postal worker in Crown Heights earlier this month have been removed from their normal posts as the NYPD investigates the incident, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday.

The four officers arrested 27-year-old Glenn Grays while he was delivering packages along President Street near Franklin Avenue on March 17 after the policemen nearly hit him in an unmarked car as he tried to cross the street, according to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who released a passerby’s video of Grays’ arrest last week.

The NYPD has already said the incident is under review. But on Tuesday, Bratton expanded on that, saying that the Internal Affairs Bureau is looking to figure out a rationale for the arrest, about which he has “strong concerns,” particularly surrounding why the four cops —assigned to a conditions unit that usually wears a uniform — were in plainclothes.

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Police Officer Edwin Raymond Sues NYPD for Violating Ban Against Arrest Quotas

NYPD Officer Edwin Raymond (photo via nytimes.com)

NYPD Officer Edwin Raymond (photo via nytimes.com)

article by Saki Knafo via nytimes.com

Every morning before his shift, Edwin Raymond, a 30-year-old officer in the New York Police Department, ties up his long dreadlocks so they won’t brush against his collar, as the job requires. On Dec. 7, he carefully pinned them up in a nautilus pattern, buttoned the brass buttons of his regulation dress coat and pulled on a pair of white cotton gloves. He used a lint roller to make sure his uniform was spotless. In a few hours, he would appear before three of the department’s highest-ranking officials at a hearing that would determine whether he would be promoted to sergeant. He had often stayed up late worrying about how this conversation would play out, but now that the moment was here, he felt surprisingly calm. The department had recently announced a push to recruit more men and women like him — minority cops who could help the police build trust among black and Hispanic New Yorkers. But before he could move up in rank, Raymond would have to disprove some of the things people had said about him.

Over the past year, Raymond had received a series of increasingly damning evaluations from his supervisors. He had been summoned to the hearing to tell his side of the story. His commanders had been punishing him, he believed, for refusing to comply with what Raymond considered a hidden and ‘‘inherently racist’’ policy.

Raymond checked in to the department’s employee-management office in downtown Manhattan. Three other officers waited there with him, all dressed as though for a funeral or parade, all hoping they would be judged worthy of a promotion and a raise. One officer had gotten in trouble for pulling a gun on his ex-girlfriend’s partner. ‘‘Everyone was nervous,’’ Raymond says. ‘‘I was the only one who was confident, because I knew I’d done nothing wrong.’’

Hours crawled by. Finally, a sergeant announced that the officials — ‘‘executives,’’ as they’re known in the department — were ready to see them. One by one, the officers entered a conference room. Raymond saluted the executives and stated his name. Then the executives began to speak. Beneath the stiff woolen shell of Raymond’s dress coat, tucked away in his right breast pocket, his iPhone was recording their muffled voices.

Edwin Raymond in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON / MAGNUM, FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Over the last two years, Raymond has recorded almost a dozen officials up and down the chain of command in what he says is an attempt to change the daily practices of the New York Police Department. He claims these tactics contradict the department’s rhetoric about the arrival of a new era of fairer, smarter policing. In August 2015, Raymond joined 11 other police officers in filing a class-action suit on behalf of minority officers throughout the force. The suit centers on what they claim is one of the fundamental policies of the New York Police Department: requiring officers to meet fixed numerical goals for arrests and court summonses each month. In Raymond’s mind, quota-based policing lies at the root of almost everything racially discriminatory about policing in New York. Yet the department has repeatedly told the public that quotas don’t exist.

Since January 2014, the start of the two-year period during which Raymond made most of his recordings, the department has been led by Police Commissioner William Bratton, who has presided over a decline in summonses and arrests even as crime levels have remained historically low. He has revamped the department’s training strategy and has introduced a new program that encourages officers to spend more time getting to know the people who live and work in the neighborhoods they patrol.

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Off-Duty NYPD Officer Larry Jackson Beaten by Police at His Home Awarded $15M by NYC

(photo via nydailynews.com)

Officer Larry Jackson with wife Charlene (photo via nydailynews.com)

article by Jack D’isidoro via dnainfo.com

QUEENS — An off-duty NYPD officer who was falsely arrested and beaten by fellow officers inside his own home was awarded $15 million by a federal jury on Wednesday.

Officer Larry Jackson, who is black, was beaten with batons, choked, kicked, sprayed in the face with pepper spray and had his hand fractured during the 2010 attack, according to his lawyer, who blames race biases on escalating the incident.

The confrontation began after Jackson’s wife called 911 to resolve a dispute outside their home, where they had just held their daughter’s birthday party.

When police arrived, they mistook Jackson for one of the agitators and began to physically subdue him, ignoring his repeated attempts to identify himself as a member of the NYPD, according to the lawsuit.

“Dude, it is my house and I am a police officer too,” Jackson told the arresting officers, according to the complaint. Jackson was then handcuffed and taken to the 113th Precinct stationhouse even after officers found his NYPD shield, which had been in his front pocket the whole time, the lawsuit says.  “He’ll never be compensated for the disrespect he’s received from the police department,” says Jackson’s attorney, Eric Sanders.

The Brooklyn Federal Court jury found Jackson entitled to punitive damages from 12 individual officers totaling $2.6 million, in addition to $12.5 million in damages.

To read more, go to: https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160204/st-albans/off-duty-nypd-officer-beaten-by-police-his-home-awarded-15m-by-city

Trayon Christian, a Teen Racially Profiled At Barneys, Receives $45,000 Settlement

Trayon Christian gets settlement from Barneys

Teen Trayon Christian gets settlement from Barneys after being racially profiled (photo via pix11.com)

Barneys has reached a settlement with a Black teen who was racially profiled in the luxury department store and wrongfully arrested by the NYPD.

Pix11 reports Trayon Christian was awarded $45,000 from the company this week. The incident happened in April 2013, when the then 19-year-old went to the Manhattan location to purchase a $348 Ferragamo belt. Barneys employees allegedly believed he bought the belt with a fraudulent credit card.

Christian was approached by NYPD officers and subjected to a reported “stop-and-frisk” procedure before he was arrested. His attorney, Michael Palillo, claims the NYPD was called by personnel, however police say there were officers already present in the store.

Following Christian’s encounter, Barneys faced intense scrutiny and was fined $525 million for racially profiling Black and Latino shoppers. In Aug. 2014, Christian shared his thoughts on the matter with Pix11:

“The settlement was in the best interest of the city,” a spokesperson for the city law department told PIX11 News.

“It made me feel much better, like [they’re] actually on top of them about something.”

That was Trayon Christian’s reaction to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s announcement Monday morning that the state had fined Barneys $525 million after investigators found that the store had indeed profiled black and Latino shoppers.

When asked if today’s ruling makes it a little bit easier? Christian said, “Yeah, it does, just a little bit.”

Details regarding Christian’s own lawsuit remain private.

article by Desire Thompson via newsone.com

NYPD Cop In James Blake Arrest Used Excessive Force, Panel Rules

2015 U.S. Open - Day 12

James Blake (Getty Images)

An undercover officer who assaulted tennis star James Blake on a Manhattan sidewalk last month used excessive force, “according an investigation by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, New York City’s independent agency for police misconduct,” reports The New York Times.

The board substantiated the charge of excessive force against New York Police Department Officer James Frascatore and recommended punishment that could result in suspension or dismissal, writes the news outlet.

Blake received word about the findings Tuesday in a letter from the panel. The incident took place during the U.S. Open on Sept. 9 in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 42nd Street in Midtown. The assault, captured on video surveillance camera, reignited national outrage over the use of excessive force by police against people of color.

From The New York Times:

[Frascatore] will now face an internal Police Department trial; the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, has the final say on discipline of officers.

“I want to express my appreciation to the Civilian Complaint Review Board for their quick and thorough review of the incident where I was attacked,” Mr. Blake said in a statement. “I have complete respect for the principle of due process and appreciate the efforts of the C.C.R.B. to advance this investigation.”

Blake’s lawyer, Kevin H. Marino, told The Times that his client “looks forward to participating in the forthcoming trial.”

article by Lynette Holloway via newsone.com