Tag Archives: NYPD

Breaking: NYPD Officer Not Indicted In Death Of Eric Garner

New York- The New York Post is reporting that a grand jury has declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who was caught on video placing Eric Garner in a choke hold in July following accusations against Garner over alleged sales of loose cigarettes.

Garner, 43, died shortly after his altercation with Pantaleo and was heard on amateur video yelling “I can’t breathe” as Pantaleo placed him in a hold that was classified as a choke hold, which is a forbidden hold to use in the NYPD.

Garner’s death had been ruled a homicide by the city’s medical examiner. Garner’s family plans to sue the city for civil rights violations and wrongful death.


NYC High School Workshop Teaches Students How To Interact With Police

Manhattan- The New York Civil Liberties Union offered training workshops to 450 students attending East Side Community High School last week to teach them how to respond when stopped by police.

According to The New York Post, the school’s principal brought the NYCLU to conduct the workshops in an effort to build trust between youth and police officers. East Side Community High School Principal  said the workshop’s purpose was “about what to do when kids are put in a position where they feel powerless and uncomfortable.”

Students have expressed uneasiness in dealing with police, including senior Jason Zaragoza, who said that on one occasion he felt intimidated by police power after he was stopped heading home from a party.

Zaragoza said he was “panicking” when stopped by police and accused of lying about where he was headed after the party, “because I knew they could do anything to me and I can’t help myself.”

The workshop was centered around New York City’s stop-and-frisk procedures and encouraged students to exercise their Fourth Amendment rights. Within the training session there were instructional pamphlets titled “What To Do If You’re Stopped By Police” that outlined what police and civilians are legally allowed to do during a stop.

The pamphlet stated that police may “stop and briefly detain” upon reasonable suspicion of a crime, but pointed out that carrying identification is not required in New York and people are allowed to ask if they are free to leave. The pamphlet encouraged students to remain calm during interactions, avoid resisting officers, and refrain from insulting or touching police.

“You may have to cooperate with an officer if you feel they’re harassing you, but you can file a complaint later on,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman.

Former police officer and John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Eugene O’Donnell criticized the program. “It’s unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs,” said O’Donnell.

Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, told PIX11 that the pamphlets should include information about the “hundreds of police officers who have sacrificed their lives to get guns and drugs off our streets.”

“It’s about helping kids understand what they can and cannot do legally and as a matter of reality,” said Lieberman. “So we’re looking to help young people walk away from an encounter with police which my be unpleasant, but without exacerbating the situation.”


NYPD says fatal shooting was an ‘accident’

A fatal shooting in Brooklyn involving the NYPD and an unarmed man has been deemed an “accident” by the NYPD.

Reports from the AP say Akai Gurley, 28, was exiting his girlfriend’s apartment in the public housing complex known as the Louis Pink Houses around 11 p.m. Thursday night.

Rookie NYPD officers Peter Liang and Shaun Landau were performing a “vertical patrol,” which requires the officers to conduct floor-by-floor sweeps, within the complex at the time.

Liang and Landau reportedly came into contact with Gurley in a dark stairwell of the complex.  Liang had his weapon unholstered and his flashlight out to illuminate the stairwell prior to coming into contact with Gurley.  Once the officers saw Gurley in the stairwell, Gurley was shot in the chest, and he was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said in a press conference, according to the LA Times, the shooting was an “unfortunate accident,” and Gurley was “innocent.”

“It appears to be an accidental discharge, with no intention to strike anybody,” said Bratton in the press conference.  Bratton said Gurley was not taking part in any aggressive or illegal activity, and he was simply “trying to walk down the stairwell,” when he was shot.  

Gurley’s girlfriend Melissa Butler, 27, told DNA Info, the officers “didn’t present themselves or nothing and shot him. They didn’t identify themselves at all. They just shot.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the death of Gurley a “tragic accident,” adding, “There’s going to be a full investigation to say the least.”

As of now, Liang has been put on desk duty until the investigation is complete.

NYPD allegedly take $1,300 from man in video

A video recorded on a cell phone has emerged showing an NYPD officer allegedly stealing $1,300 from a man while carrying out a stop-and-frisk.

The video was shot in the early hours of Sept. 16 when Lamard Joye and his sister Lateefah Joye were walking through the Coney Island neighborhood when an NYPD officer approached Lamard and begin to “rough [Lamard] up.”  Others nearby saw this and began to record the incident.

In the video, we see the officer push Lamard against a fence before reaching in Lamard’s pocket and allegedly withdrawing $1,300 in cash, according to CBS News.  It is at this point the officer pepper-sprays Lamard.  Lateefah can be heard inquiring for the officers badge number when the officer turns and pepper sprays her as well.

The Joye siblings are being represented by lawyer Robert Marinelli who said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News, “I believe that this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft. This assumption was wrong. Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer deserving respect.”

Marinelli obtained pay stubs showing Lamard’s money was obtained through legitimate means and gave this evidence to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.  According to the Raw Story, the money in question is still not accounted for or returned.

The NYPD has said there was a call from the area reporting a man with a gun and the officer was responding to the call.  “When officers arrived at the scene, they encountered numerous people at the location,” said the NYPD according to the New York Post.  “As a result of the allegations, the matter is under investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau and the CCRB [Civilian Complaint Review Board].”

NYPD stomps on individual’s head during arrest

The NYPD’s methods are once again in the spotlight as another amateur video has surfaced showing officers stomping on the head of a suspect being placed under arrest.

The video shows officers apprehending Jahmiel Cuffee, 32, after the officers reportedly saw Cuffee rolling a joint in the street.  The officers asked Cuffee for his ID and began to place him under arrest, and after Cuffee hands his ID over, bystanders begin to record the arrest.

We see Cuffee begin to resist arrest by trying to get away from the officers, only to be pinned to the ground.  As Cuffee struggles, he even grabs the arm of a female bystander, who is telling him to calm down, to try and escape the officers.

After writhing under the officers, Cuffee seems to give up, and the camera focuses on Officer Joel Eduardo, 36, who can be seen walking off camera.  Shortly after walking off camera, Officer Eduardo appears again on camera and stomps on Cuffee’s head, causing the surrounding crowd to shout and panic.

“What is wrong with this officer?” an unknown person on the video says immediately after the officer stomps on Cuffee’s head.  Others in the background of the video take up other jeers and begin to shun the officers.

Cuffee was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for head and neck injuries.  Eduardo has since been put on desk duty, according to the New York Daily News.

Community Advocate Tony Herbert told PIX11 in New York City, he was upset at the way this officer treated a member of the community.  “This officer,” said Herbert, “cannot represent our community and work for us if he’s going to violate people’s rights.”

The NYPD has said they will be investigating the incident to decide whether or not Officer Eduardo, or any other officer in the video, was using excessive force or not.

Police charged Cuffee with resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

NYPD Has Received Over 1,000 Complaints Of Police Choke Hold Use Since 2009

New York- According to a report released Saturday by New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, 1,022 complaints have been made between 2009 and 2013 by city residents accusing NYPD officers of putting them in choke holds.

Choke holds were prohibited by the NYPD in a 1985 order that only allowed its practice if it was the “least dangerous alternative method of restraint”, and the order was later modified in 1993 to allow no exceptions.

Out of 1,022 complaints, 462 of them were investigated. In nine cases of the 462, enough evidence was obtained to have the complaint substantiated by the CCRB. The CCRB had recommended administrative trials for those nine cases of choke hold use by police. Administrative trials can lead to termination of police officers.

However, the police commissioner makes the final decision of carrying out discipline in these cases, and the consequences for those officers were either nonexistent or mild.

Out of the nine substantiated cases, two officers were not disciplined by Raymond Kelly, the NYC Police Commissioner at the time. In three cases Kelly had instructed the officers to be re-trained regarding the rules. One officer retired before a ruling was issued, and one officer was disciplined by losing vacation days. Two cases are still pending.

Current NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton said last Friday that NYPD officers were reminded last year that choke holds were banned.

Choke hold use by NYPD officers has fallen under sharper scrutiny following the death of Eric Garner, who was placed in an apparent choke hold last Thursday by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Staten Island.

CCRB Chair Richard Emery announced in a statement last Saturday that the agency has begun a “comprehensive study of the chokehold complaints it has received during the past 5 years (2009 to 2013) and in the first six months of 2014.”

“We also hope to be able to shed light on the CCRB methodologies that led to such a large number of cases that are unsubstantiated,” said Emery in the statement.

NYPD Officer Who Allegedly Choked Eric Garner Has Already Cost City $30,000 For Unlawful Strip Search

New York- NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was caught on video putting 43-year-old Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold resulting in death last Thursday over suspicion of selling loose cigarettes, has already been named as defendant in two civil suits that alleged improper police conduct including lying and false arrest.

A civil suit, settled in January, accused Pantaleo and several other officers of unlawfully stopping a vehicle operated by Morris Wilson in New Brighton back in March 2012. The lawsuit also alleged that Pantaleo and another officer had pulled down the pants and underwear of plaintiffs Darren Collins and Tommy Rice in public view in the middle of the day.

After the vehicle was stopped, passengers Collins and Rice were ordered out of the vehicle. Collins and Rice were handcuffed, and shortly afterwards Pantaleo and Officer Ignazio Conca “pulled down the plaintiffs’ pants and underwear, and touched and searched their genital areas, or stood by while this was done in their presence,” according to the lawsuit.

Collins and Rice were then taken by Pantaleo to the 120th Precinct station where they were strip-searched again, ordered “to remove all of their clothing, squat, cough and lift their genitals.” Wilson, the driver in the vehicle stop, took a plea deal after admitting to possessing drugs in his pocket. However, Jason Leventhal, the attorney for Collins and Rice, said that the officers were allowed to arrest everyone in the car because Pantaleo had falsely claimed that drugs were in plain view in the car.

“One of the fundamental, most important things a police officer needs to do is to tell the truth,” said Leventhal. “He has no right to strip-search anyone in the middle of the street.” 

Collins and Rice had been criminally charged after the arrest and search, but the charges were eventually dismissed. Both men received $15,000 from the city in the settlement.

The second lawsuit against Pantaleo remains open. There are few details, but plaintiff Rylawn Walker filed a suit in February accusing Pantaleo of arresting him despite “committing no crime at that time” and “not acting in a suspicious manner.” Walker’s lawsuit alleges that Pantaleo “misrepresented facts in the police reports and other documents that the plaintiff had committed offenses when in fact this was not true.”

Walker had been charged with marijuana-related offenses that were later dismissed.

The latest action from Pantaleo has spurred national outrage, as disturbing video was released that showed Pantaleo in plainclothes placing Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold and not letting go even after Garner, an asthmatic man, repeatedly pleaded with the officers surrounding him “I can’t breathe.” Police claim that Garner was selling “loosies”- single, untaxed cigarettes- and that Garner has been arrested for this in the past.

The man who took the video, 22-year-old Ramsey Orta, tried to intermediate and told police that Garner was not selling cigarettes but had actually just broken up a fight between three men. The officers did not appear to heed Orta’s account of the situation.

Additional video released on Saturday showed police surrounding Garner after he collapsed following the chokehold offering no medical assistance to the man. Garner was not given immediate CPR or oxygen when EMTs arrived, but rather loaded onto a stretcher and taken away. When a witness asked why CPR wasn’t being performed, an officer answered, “Cause he’s breathing.” Pantaleo is seen waving at the person recording the aftermath, while chatting with another officer.

Pantaleo has since been placed on desk duty with his badge and gun taken away while an investigation is underway. A second unnamed officer was placed on desk duty following Garner’s death but did not have his badge and gun removed. Two paramedics and two EMTs who were called to respond to Garner’s collapse were put on “modified duty” and banned from ambulance calls while an investigation into the response call ensues.

Garner’s son, Eric Snipes, expressed anger toward Pantaleo for the death of his father. “I want to ask the man that did it, ‘What made you choke him like that?’ What made him put his hand around his bare neck?” Snipes said.

New York Lawsuit Fights for Right to Record Police Officers

New York – Last week, a Federal lawsuit was filed against the New York Police Department, which requested that individuals are granted the right to film or record officers working in public places. The suit lists several accounts of arrests where people recorded confrontations with police, and it was filmed by one of the people arrested.

According to the New York Times, the suit “seeks a permanent injunction barring New York City employees from retaliating against those who record them in public.”

Despite the fact that New York’s Police Department Patrol Guide says that “taking photographs, videotapes or tape recordings” is not probable cause for an arrest, the lawsuit maintains that there is still “a widespread policy, practice and custom” of police intervention with those who choose to record them.

The lawsuit contained eight accounts where individuals were recording police activity in public, and were ordered by the police officers to either leave the scene, or to delete the data.

The testimonies ranged from Debra Goodman, who was arrested in 2013 for taking a video of emergency medical technicians speaking to a woman in a wheelchair, while police officers watched, to Diego Ibanez, who was arrested in 2013 for recording videos of police officers making arrests inside of a subway station.

One of the lawyers involved in filing the lawsuit, Norman Siegel, hopes the City of New York will adopt a policy along the same lines as the one used by the Baltimore Police Department.

After dealing with a lawsuit in 2010, in which a Baltimore man claimed that the police had taken his cellphone and deleted a video he had taken of an arrest, the Justice Department concluded that people have the right to record police officers.

In a letter regarding the decision, the department wrote, “the justification for this right is firmly rooted in longstanding First Amendment principles.

NYPD crackdown on sleeping subway passenger

A subway passenger in New York City was recently arrested by the NYPD for the crime of taking a nap on his way home from work.

A video recorded by an onlooker shows a black man on a nearly empty subway car being drug to the floor of the car while asking the officers why he was being arrested.  The officers tell him to relax while struggling to the ground, and the man says, “I didn’t do sh**. I’m sleeping.”

Further on in the video, the man tells the other passengers and officers he was on his way home from work and asks others to record his arrest.

According to the NYPD, the man was breaking the Mass Transit Authority’s rules of conduct by “occupying more than one seat,” at a time and cited this as the man’s reason for arrest.  The video is unclear though as to whether or not the man was occupying more than one seat.

This comes as part of the NYPD’s harsher standards for the city.

The NYPD, under Commissioner Bill Bratton, has adopted punishments and penalties for petty crimes which would normally result in fines or go unpunished.  These petty crimes include being homeless and staying in the subways and dancing or creating improvised music for subway goers.

These standards have been derived from the “Broken Windows” theory of criminology, made famous by social scientists and criminologists James Wilson and George Kelling.

The theory connects social disorder with crime, saying no accountability for one broken window in a building sends the message throughout the area that “no one cares,” allowing petty crimes to go unpunished.

NYPD Twitter #myNYPD Campaign Goes Horribly Wrong

New York City – The NYPD News tweeted earlier today that they wanted people to share their photos of themselves with NYPD. They asked people to use the hashtag #myNYPD. They hoped to have a lot of smiling faces showing the nice side of the NYPD. However, it did not take long before the feed filled up with images and videos of police brutality.

One of Luke Rudkowsi’s tweets showed a NYPD officer beating him with a baton.

Others posted pictures of the elderly man who was beat for jaywalking and other recent police brutality images.


Copwatch reminded us of the innocent people shot outside the Empire State building.

Complex Magazine shows us how the NYPD handles someone being detained.

Aside from the complete failure of the marketing campaign, the most surprising thing may be the sheer number of images and videos of NYPD police brutality there are.

Follow Sam on Twitter.

VIDEO: Cop Brings Gun to a Snowball Fight Could Cost NYC $10 Million

In February of 2010 off duty NYPD officer, Sgt. Adonis Ramirez, 34, after being hit by a snowball in the leg, drew his concealed weapon on a group of young men and ordered them to kneel against a fence. He now stands accused of false arrest and battery.

Inconsistencies in his story have been revealed during his recent testimony in a $10 million dollar civil suit brought against the NYPD.

In his initial report to officers Ramirez claimed that while walking, “he felt himself get struck on the back by multiple snowballs.” While testifying in court last Tuesday he admitted that it was only “one” snowball and that it struck him in the leg.

He then went on to claim that he didn’t recall telling police that the young men had chased him, although he had stated in police reports that he feared for his “immediate safety”. Previously, Ramirez had claimed the group chased him down the street and threatened him while pelting him with multiple snowballs.

Ramirez also changed his statement about how long it took him to draw his weapon after being hit a snowball, from an earlier estimate of over a minute, he revised that to 15 to 30 seconds in court testimony.

It appears that Ramirez was forced to amend his statements after surveillance footage surfaced that contradicted the officer’s version of events about multiple snowballs being thrown and the men chasing him.

Manuel Rondon, 22, Christian Perez, 23, Johnathan Rodriguez, 26, Anthony Aquino, 19, and Ariel Lopez, 21, were all arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, attempted assault, menacing, and harassment and were forced to spend the a day and a half in jail.

The alleged weapon in question… a snowball.

None of the young men had ever been in any trouble before. 18 year old Ariel Lopez said, “We’re innocent, we didn’t do anything wrong and he overreacted.” Manuel Rondon went on to state, “I felt that at that moment one of us was going to get killed or shot.”

The attorney for the five young men claims that Ramirez, “made up facts. He never got hit with a snowball. This guy brings a loaded gun to a snowball fight. It’s an incredible abuse of power by a bully with a badge,” said attorney Neil Wollerstein.

Eventually all charges against the young men were dropped by the Bronx district attorney.

According to Ramirez, while he may not have had all his facts straight, he felt a possible threat existed and that his actions were fully justified, claiming, “I was outnumbered, and I wasn’t taking any chances.”

In the “officer needs assistance” call made to 911 to get assistance from New Yorks finest, to protect this officer from the brutal snowball “assault”, Ramirez can be heard telling the young men, while held at gunpoint, “Do not move, Do not move. You brought this upon yourself. You want to be a d–k?” His words come off as strikingly retaliatory rather than based on a fear for his own personal safety.

The abuse of authority and lack of training exhibited in this case are stunning. Mr. Ramirez must have missed the memo that badges don’t grant extra rights. The militarization of the police across the US has seemingly created a pandemic of officers acting as though they are above the law they are sworn to uphold. Hopefully, Officer Ramirez, the NYPD, and the city of New York get the memo on this one.

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