Journalist Shaun King Reveals 1st Part of 5-Part Investigative Series on Corrupt Policing and Arrest Quotas in NYC

Investigative Journalist Shaun King

A snippet and the link to this brave man’s work is below. Please read and follow this groundbreaking series via medium.com as well as Shaun King (Facebook, Twitter). He is doing so much what needs to be done to root out injustice not only in NYC, but all across the country:

What I’m about to tell you is the most painful, traumatic, outrageous, outlandish, over-the-top story of government sanctioned police brutality, wrongful imprisonment, wrongful convictions, forced testimony, widespread corruption, money, lots of money, and deep, deep, deep soul-snatching psychological abuse in modern American history. I would not have believed it had I not seen it all for myself. The rabbit hole I am about to take you down is deep and twisted. It should lead to the termination of a whole host of officials. Many should be arrested and a comprehensive independent investigation should begin immediately.

I receive hundreds of personal emails about injustice in America every single day. In mid-July, dozens of those emails were about a Bronx teenager named Pedro Hernandez. People all over the country had seen reports from Sarah Wallace of NBC New York or James Ford of Pix 11 on how Hernandez, who was jailed at Rikers Island, was running out of time to be released in time to start college. Hernandez had won awards at Rikers for his leadership and academic performance, and had also been granted a scholarship from the Posse Foundation to enter college this fall. Offered a plea deal from the Bronx DA’s Office to be released for time served, Hernandez did what few people in his position would do — he turned down the deal. Accused of shooting Shaun Nardoni, a neighborhood teenager, in the leg on September 1st, 2015, Hernandez was offered a ticket out of Rikers in exchange for admitting he shot Nardoni. The District Attorney even sweetened the pot and pledged to expunge his record in five years if he met all of the terms of his probation. Hernandez still refused to take the deal — continuing to pledge that he was completely innocent and would rather take his chances with a jury before admitting to something he didn’t do.

Pedro Hernandez (photo via medium.com)

For nearly a week, people emailed me about Pedro’s case before I finally clicked on the link to see what it was all about. Tory Russell, an activist and organizer from St. Louis, who I’d come to know fr

om Ferguson, sent me a direct message on Twitter asking me if I could read the story and support Pedro somehow.  I was on vacation with my family and it still took me another three days to finally read the story. I was hooked, but I had questions. As I Googled Pedro’s name and case, I saw several local reports that stated he had been wrongfully arrested and harassed by the NYPD for years. A guard at another facility was actually arrested and charged with criminal assault, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal obstruction of breathing and blood circulation, and harassment after being caught on film brutally beating and choking Pedro. Eight different eyewitnesses had all come forward to state that Pedro was not the shooter. Many even went so far as to identify the actual shooter. Why then, did Pedro remain behind bars? Why did it seem like the NYPD had it out for him? And how could the Bronx DA simultaneously believe that Pedro was safe enough to set free if he took the plea, but so dangerous, that if he didn’t, his bail would be set at an outrageous $250,000 with a stipulation that he not pay the typical 10%, but pay all $250,000 — effectively ensuring that he’d never get out on bail. That Pedro Hernandez, with the entire deck stacked against him, still refused to take a plea, hooked me.

As I reached out to Pedro’s family, I was immediately struck by something peculiar. I’ve written nearly 1,000 stories about police brutality and misconduct and have interviewed hundreds of families suffering through the consequences of those things. Almost every single one of those families, particularly when they are still in a stage of grief or conflict, without fail, want to speak exclusively about their very specific case. Pedro’s family was different. They immediately wanted me to know that Pedro was not alone, but that he was just one of hundreds of victims whose lives had been turned upside down by officers from the 42nd precinct in the Bronx who were working in close concert with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. The accusations were so sweeping and broad that I wasn’t sure how to process them.

To read full article, go to: Soul Snatchers: How the NYPD’s 42nd Precinct, the Bronx DA’s Office, and the City of New York…

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

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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