CLICK HERE TO REPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRUPTION (Provide as much information as possible: full names, descriptions, dates, times, activity, witnesses, etc.)

Telephone: 347-632-9775

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ground Zero 'hero' arrested at fund-raiser actually a fraud, officials say

The New York Daily News by MICHAEL DALY, Staff Writer - March 30, 2008

A self-styled 9/11 hero who brags he helped "rescue thousands" as a New York City cop is a fraud who never set foot near the World Trade Center that day and quit the force before graduating from the academy, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.

The allegation came after Fred Parisi was arrested in Carlstadt, N.J., last night while entering a fund-raiser for the 9/11 Rescue Workers Foundation that he founded. The actual theft charges against the 40-year-old father of three from Jefferson Township, N.J., are unrelated to Sept. 11. Local cops said he looted at least $235,000 from Berkshire Valley Custom Wood Designs, a woodworking company that he also founded.

Just last month, he joined a delegation of legitimate 9/11 rescue workers at the Capitol in Washington to lobby for better health care. He appeared in news photos holding an American flag and standing next to an FDNY deputy chief who lost a son at the World Trade Center. Parisi touts himself as director and founder of the 9/11 Rescue Workers Foundation. His phone number is (866) WTC-HERO. A foundation press release states, "Fred was there as the second plane hit. But what haunts him is the memory of what the firefighters said on the way up: 'Stay here, Fred. We'll be right back.' "

A flyer to raise money to send his 10-year-old son to a baseball program in Holland adds that Parisi "was a New York City Police Officer and staged dramatic rescues to save thousands of New Yorkers." Parisi had said he suffers from a "rare lung disease attributed to the rescue and recovery efforts from Ground Zero on Sept. 11." But law enforcement sources said Parisi and the rest of Police Academy Company 01-16 were on Floyd Bennett Field for driving training during the terrorist attacks and never got close to the Trade Center.

Sources added that on Sept. 12 and 13, 2001, Parisi was assigned to traffic duty at E. 34th St. and Madison Ave., far away from Ground Zero. Records show he joined the NYPD on July 1, 2001, and quit on Nov. 1, 2001, without graduating from the academy.

Parisi lied on his application, failing to list disciplinary problems in the military and resignations from two other police departments, as well as an arrest for impersonating an officer, sources said. His impersonation of a 9/11 hero persuaded a public relations executive and a Web site designer to donate their services to assist his foundation.

The public relations executive, Lori Widmer, said she eventually began to suspect that Parisi was not the hero he made himself out to be and asked him if he was trying to cheat people. He responded with a "veiled threat," she said. Cops have not determined if Parisi pocketed any of the money raised for his foundation or for his son's baseball trip.

Last night, Parisi arrived at the Waterfront Café dressed for his fund-raiser in a green button-down shirt and khakis. He seemed stunned by his arrest, and in an emotional outburst threatened to kill the investigator who developed the case, Jefferson Township Police Detective Joseph Kratzel. "Surprised is not even the word," Kratzel said of Parisi. "Dumbfounded."

Parisi was held on $107,500 bail on charges he looted the woodworking company he started up with a woodworker he originally hired and then presented with a "business opportunity" rather than pay him, police said. Cops said that the uncommonly talented woodworker, Roy Jensen, did all the work and Parisi took all the money, including cash for materials that were never purchased.  (with Brendan Brosh)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ex-cop faces steroid charges

The New York Daily News by MICHAEL O'KEEFFE

A former New York City policeman whose anti-aging clinic allegedly supplied prescriptions for steroids to boxer Jameel McCline and professional wrestlers was arrested in Florida on Wednesday and charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Anthony Forgione, 43, of Boca Raton, runs Infinity Longevity, the latest Florida anti-aging clinic targeted by Operation Which Doctor, Albany County District Attorney David Soares' investigation into prescription drug mills. Forgione has waived extradition and is scheduled to appear in Albany County court in Cohoes on Monday for arraignment.

When police and New York State Health Department investigators executed a search warrant on Forgione's Delray Beach office, they allegedly found evidence of steroid distribution as well as assault rifles, handguns and $6,000 in cash. They also found Gary Brandwein, a Florida doctor who is currently free on bond under a Operation Which Doctor-related felony indictment. Brandwein was not arrested Wednesday. Forgione, who served on the NYPD for seven years, is also a retired Boca Raton cop who was fired in April 2003 after he admitted buying and using steroids.

As the Daily News reported last month, McCline received more than $12,000 worth of steroids, human growth hormone and other prescription drugs in 2005 and 2006. His manager denied he had used performance-enhancing drugs. (November 16, 2007)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


The New York Post by LEONARDO BLAIR

March 27, 2008 -- A cop wannabe who passed a test to enter the Police Academy before he was arrested for an armed bodega robbery last June has been cleared by DNA evidence - and still wants to be one of New York's Finest.
Charges against Gerson Ruiz will soon be dropped, a spokesman for the Brooklyn DA said yesterday.

"I'm doing great now that the truth is out," Ruiz said. "I still want to be a police officer, but with this happening I don't know how the police are going to react." Police had charged that Ruiz, 26, and two masked, gun-toting accomplices had pulled a gun on a bodega clerk last May 5 and fled with an unknown sum of cash. He'd faced up to 25 years in prison. Ruiz said that when he was arrested, the only thing he was toting was a congratulatory letter from Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. He recalled that cops laughed when they cuffed him and found it. "I told them I've never held a gun in my life," Ruiz said.

His lawyer, Salvatore Paszynsky, said police claimed to have a positive ID of his client from three witnesses, a video showing him committing the robbery and fingerprints on a gun. "All this turned out to be untrue," said Paszynsky. He said authorities also claimed to have DNA his client left at the scene, adding he had never been told where or how the sample was obtained. Ruiz volunteered to give another sample, which cleared him. All Ruiz still had to do to become a rookie was pass a medical. "Now that he's been exonerated, we don't expect any problems" about him joining the force, Pasznysky said.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


United States Attorney David E. Nahmias Northern District of Georgia
CONTACT: Patrick Crosby (404)581-6016 FAX (404)581-6160

Defendant Was Sergeant Over Narcotics Team

Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Police Officer WILBERT STALLINGS, 44, of Conyers, Georgia, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to conspiring to violate civil rights by executing a search of a private residence without benefit of a search warrant. Late this afternoon, STALLINGS was expected to be released on $25,000 bond set by a United States Magistrate Judge.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “The right to be secure in our homes is fundamental and protected by the Bill of Rights. If police officers want to search a home, they must comply with the Fourth Amendment. When Sergeant Stallings agreed to have the narcotics team he commanded simply break into a home without a search warrant, he blatantly violated the rights of the innocent person who lived there. Fortunately, on that occasion no one was physically hurt, but this criminal incident was part of a larger pattern of misconduct by the narcotics team that Sergeant Stallings was aware of but failed to control. Ultimately such bending and breaking of the rules led to the tragic shooting death of Kathryn Johnston. Our investigation of that death uncovered this offense and the underlying pattern of misconduct. The federal investigation is nearing an end, but we plan to report to Chief Pennington in the near future on other acts of misconduct by APD officers that do not rise to the level of federal criminal prosecution but do require attention for possible administrative sanctions. I want to commend the FBI for its excellent and diligent work on this case, and I also want to commend the great majority of Atlanta police officers who work bravely every day to protect the citizens in our community. Those many good officers will be disgusted when they hear about the lawless conduct of Sergeant Stallings, which stains the badge and makes the job of honest police officers that much harder.”

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said of the case, “Today's guilty plea of APD Sgt. Stallings came about as we were following the leads from the tragic Neal Street investigation. Those leads resulted in the uncovering of Sgt. Stallings’ unconscionable criminal conduct.”

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: In October 2005, STALLINGS, a sergeant in the narcotics unit and a 23-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department, joined several other APD officers in executing a search warrant at an apartment located at 1058 Dill Avenue in Atlanta. At the time, Gregg Junnier, one of the officers who would later be convicted for his involvement in the Kathryn Johnston shooting, was a member of the narcotics team under STALLINGS’ command. Junnier had obtained a search warrant for the apartment at 1058 Dill Avenue. The apartment was part of a duplex, and the adjacent apartment was 1056 Dill Avenue. No search warrant had been obtained for 1056 Dill Avenue.

The officers executed the warrant at 1058 Dill Avenue and recovered some marijuana in bushes behind the apartment, but found no drugs inside the apartment. Having not found what they expected to find at 1058 Dill Avenue, STALLINGS and Junnier discussed and agreed to make a forced entry into the adjoining apartment at 1056 Dill Avenue. Upon reaching that agreement, the officers used a ram to break into the apartment. STALLINGS, Junnier, and other members of the narcotics team then entered the apartment. No one was home. The officers found no evidence of any illegal activity. STALLINGS then instructed his team to leave the apartment and shut the door. He made a statement to the effect of: “Just shut the door. They’ll just think it was a break-in.”

This incident was part of a larger pattern of misconduct by STALLINGS and his team. Specifically, (1) STALLINGS permitted his team to work so-called “extra jobs” through which they were paid by business owners to provide services on duty that should have been free for all citizens -- and STALLINGS himself shared in the profits from that enterprise; (2) he knew and allowed his officers to “trade” search warrants with each other, by which one officer would swear in an affidavit to have witnessed events he never actually saw; (3) he let his officers use unregistered drug informants as sources for information, but allowed the officers to identify such informants falsely as “confidential and reliable” for the purposes of procuring search warrants; and (4) he permitted his officers to inflate or “pad” payment vouchers for informants so that the officers could use the extra money for their own purposes.

STALLINGS pleaded guilty today to a Criminal Information charging one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights. He could receive a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled before United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes. This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Kurt Erskine and Jon-Peter Kelly are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-meus), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Monday, March 24, 2008


CONTACT: Martin C. Carlson, Acting U.S. Attorney (717) 221-4482

Martin C. Carlson, Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Jeffrey B. Miller, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Division announced todaythat as a result of a joint investigation spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police, criminal charges were filed against Kevin J. Coleman, age 42, of Harrisburg, formerly a trooper in the Pennsylvania State Police. Mr. Coleman was charged with obstructing and impeding the due administration of justice while serving in the Pennsylvania State Police, an offense carrying up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

The Information charges that Mr. Coleman was a trooper for the Pennsylvania State Police, stationed at Troop H, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. One of his duties as a trooper was to conduct anti-prostitution patrols at the Gables Truck Stop in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

In March 2004, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Department of the Treasury commenced a grand jury investigation, code-named "Precious Cargo," into the nationwide prostitution of minors and adult young women. The "Precious Cargo" investigation identified numerous pimps, primarily from Toledo, Ohio, who were running a nationwide prostitution ring out of the Gables Truck Stop, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

The criminal information charges that, both prior to and during the course of the investigation, Mr. Coleman, in exchange for sexual favors from young women being prostituted by the Toledo pimps, would warn those involved in prostitution about undercover law enforcement activity, law enforcement wiretaps and law enforcement sweeps and arrests at the Gables Truck Stop. Both prior to and during the course of the investigation, the defendant, under color of the authority of his position as a member of the Pennsylvania State Police, took money from young women being prostituted at the Gables Truck Stop into custody.

As the direct result of the defendant's actions in warning prostitutes and pimps of undercover operations, law enforcement sweeps and of law enforcement wiretaps, the defendant corruptly impeded the due administration of justice and obstructed the investigation into a nationwide prostitution ring. The 14 pimps and two chief prostitutes ultimately named in that indictment were convicted and are awaiting sentencing. Upon being notified that he was the target of the corruption investigation, Mr. Coleman resigned from the Pennsylvania State Police.

The case was investigated by the Harrisburg office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and by the Internal Affairs Division of the Pennsylvania State Police. Acting United States Attorney Carlson praised the close working relationship between the State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, noting that agents and troopers aggressively followed up every lead in order to successfully complete the investigation. Mr. Carlson stated, "The rule of law can only be a vital principle in a society when those entrusted with its enforcement govern their own lives by that rule. The recent outstanding efforts of the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI to resolve these allegations of police misconduct are just the latest example of these two agencies' commitment to excellence in law enforcement. The public is well-served by these exceptional law enforcement professionals"

"The Pennsylvania State Police are committed to investigating any wrongdoing by its officers and to working in full cooperation with other law enforcement agencies," said State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod has been assigned to prosecute the case.


An Indictment or Information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged Defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Officer accused of threat on cop


An NYPD internal affairs detective has been accused of trying to help a cousin charged with lewd behavior by threatening to "wreck" the career of the cop who wrote the summons, police sources said.

Detective Curtis Grimes even dragged his relative, Jermaine Robinson, with him when he leaned on Bronx Officer Nicholas Konner to get him to drop the charge, sources said. "I work in internal affairs and I'll wreck your career," Grimes allegedly screamed when Konner refused. "This could be fatal to your career." The NYPD suspended Grimes, 35, on Monday, sources said. An NYPD spokesman declined to comment.

What made the 12-year veteran's actions even worse, sources said, was that the detective was assigned to the NYPD's elite Group No. 1 - the IAB team that handles the most sensitive internal investigations, sources said. "It's pathetic enough that this detective can't do the real job, so he hides in IAB. Now, he uses his position for personal gain," said a police source.

Konner and his partner, Officer Daisy Estrada, ticketed Robinson for obscene behavior when they caught him March 9 having sex with a woman in a car on Bedford Park Blvd. in the Bronx's 52nd Precinct, sources said. Grimes came to the precinct stationhouse looking for Konner two times before he tracked the cop down in North Central Bronx Hospital sick with the flu, sources said.

Standing over his hospital bed, Grimes yelled at Konner for giving a summons to a member of a cop's family, sources said. "If you don't fix it, we're going to file a CCRB complaint and file a lawsuit," Grimes allegedly threatened, referring to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cop gets desk duty

The New York Daily Newss - City Briefs
March 19th 2008

A NYPD officer was put on desk duty when he failed to invoice a gun and sent photos of himself - flashing gang symbols, in full uniform - to his brother in jail, sources said. Police Officer Israel Ramirez, 29, was placed on modified duty Friday, sources said.

He was given one year's probation and a 32-day suspension, sources said. The five-year veteran was found guilty in an NYPD administrative hearing of failing to invoice a weapon he found and failing to report all the weapons he owned.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Former NYPD detective gets a year in jail on child pornography charge

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - March 21st 2008

A former NYPD detective who attempted to set up a sex tryst with a 14-year-old girl was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail on a child pornography charge. "It was his job to protect the people of New York," said Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal. "Instead, he chose to prey on children."

Michael Farrell, a married father who had already been sentenced on Long Island on a similar charge, was sentenced in Manhattan on his guilty plea to attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors. Farrell, 36, would have faced up to four years in prison had he been convicted after a trial.

Farrell, of Levittown, admitted having on his computer photos of underage kids depicting sexual conduct. He also acknowledged that he had arranged to meet and have sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Thursday, March 20, 2008



March 19, 2008 -- A 22-year NYPD veteran was forced into retirement after being snared in a sleazy Internet sex talk with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, authorities said yesterday. Lt. Michael Kealy, 45 - known in the department by the nickname Touchy Feely Kealy - got into the salacious conversation in a Web chat room visited by women who want to talk with NYPD officers. It turned out that the teenager was actually an undercover Internal Affairs Bureau detective.

Kealy was brought up on departmental charges and eventually pleaded guilty to "inappropriate communication with a person believed to be a 14-year-old girl." He also pleaded guilty to departmental charges involving an accident two years ago with his personal car in which a pedestrian was injured. In that case, Kealy admitted leaving the scene of an accident, failing to notify a patrol supervisor, failure to prepare a police report and abuse of authority, police said.

Besides being forced to retire early, Kealy forfeited 30 days of vacation time and underwent a 30-day unpaid suspension.
Kealy had an impeccable record as a police officer, said his lawyer, James Moschella, who maintained yesterday that the charges aren't entirely true.

"The fact is, Lt. Kealy, to secure his pension, had to admit to things that he had never admitted to," Moschella said.
Kealy was most recently assigned to housing projects in the Bronx and Queens.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

$200K award in Albany brutality case

The Albany Times Union by BRENDAN J. LYONS Senior writer - March 6, 2008

A federal jury in Utica today awarded $200,000 in punitive damages to a black man who was brutalized by an Albany police officer during an arrest in Arbor Hill six years ago. The money, pending any appeals, would be be paid by the city of Albany because Officer William Bonanni is indemnified from paying punitive damages under the police department's collective bargaining agreement with the city, according to attorneys and court records in the case.

The $200,000 is in addition to $65,000 in compensatory damages awarded by the federal jury last week when they found Bonanni responsible for grinding the victim's face into the asphalt in front of numerous police officers. Bonanni, a 17-year veteran of the force, has been the target of numerous civilian complaints for using excessive force against minorities, but there is no indication he was ever disciplined as a result of those cases, according to departmental records filed in the lawsuit.

The jury was not instructed that Bonanni would be indemnified from paying the punitive damages in the case, attorneys said.

The civil verdict handed up by the federal jury last week, at the end of a three-day trial, concluded that race was a factor when Bonanni stood on the handcuffed man's head and ground the victim's face into the asphalt in front of numerous police officers. The victim, Phillip Lewis, 43, also claimed that Bonanni pulled down Lewis' pants on Livingston Avenue and separated his buttocks to look for contraband as onlookers screamed for the police to stop, but the jury found that Bonanni was not liable for that allegation.

The jury deliberated just two hours following a two-day trial last week before finding both Bonanni and the city of Albany equally liable for the compensatory damages. The city is responsible for what happened to Lewis because the police department has a history of not properly training, supervising or disciplining Bonanni, according to the verdict. ``My client and I are very pleased with both the jury's verdict (last week) and with the verdict today,'' said Patrick Radel, Lewis's attorney. "We felt like this was a fair trial and just verdict.''

John Liguori, the city's attorney in the case, said the city will appeal the verdicts because he believes U.S. District Court Judge David N. Hurd made several errors on evidentiary rulings that may be ``reversible on appeal.'' Lewis was convicted of weapons charges and served a four-year prison sentence in connection with his arrest on Nov. 23, 2002.

Still, the jury looked past Lewis' criminal conduct -- he was accused of beating another man with a loaded handgun -- in determining that Bonanni had used excessive force and violated Lewis' constitutional rights on the basis of his race, according to Radel.

Bonanni has spent much of his time on the force on administrative leave, suspension or restricted duty for misconduct allegations. The department also has received at least eight formal complaints against him for excessive force. All of the complaints were filed by black people, and nearly all of them included allegations that Bonanni kicked or punched someone in the head while he was handcuffed, according to internal affairs records filed as part of the case.

Radel said there was no explanation given by the city during the trial for why Bonanni has remained a police officer despite a slew of disciplinary problems, including his indictment on felony assault and perjury charges in 1997 in connection with the beating of a black, handcuffed college student in a police garage. Bonanni, 40, was later acquitted of those charges after the alleged victim, Jermaine Henderson, refused to testify against them at trial. Bonanni remains on active duty.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The New York Post by MURRAY WEISS, Criminal Justice Editor

March 18, 2008 -- An NYPD captain has pleaded guilty to submitting phony time sheets and accessing confidential computer records while he worked as a lieutenant in the department's corruption-fighting Internal Affairs Bureau, The Post has learned.
He's at least the third IAB boss to come under suspicion of wrongdoing in a year.

Capt. Steven Morrison, a respected 18-year veteran working as a detective zone commander in the Brooklyn South detectives squad, was hit with the loss of 30 vacation days after agreeing to a plea deal last week. Sources said an anonymous tipster informed officials that Morrison was claiming to be on time for his morning shifts when, in fact, he had yet to arrive on numerous occasions. Morrison's E-ZPass records did him in, sources said.

The records revealed that he was actually traveling to work through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel when his time sheets stated that he was already at his IAB desk. The sources said Morrison, while still a lieutenant, also dipped into confidential IAB files to see which other lieutenants were under an IAB cloud and therefore ineligible for promotion to captain.

"IAB goes after cops to make sure that they don't do this stuff," another source added. "And here you have their bosses doing some of the very same things." Morrison's lawyer, Louis LaPietra, said that by taking a plea, his client was "acknowledging responsibility, taking a big hit and wants to put this behind him and get on with his life."

Monday, March 17, 2008


United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced today that four police officers and a Highwaymen Motorcycle Club (HMG) member were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges ranging from lying to federal agents, lying to a grand jury, and committing various drug offenses. In addition, a formal criminal complaint was filed against Detroit area attorney Lee O'Brien for lying to federal agents.

( - United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced today that four police officers and a Highwaymen Motorcycle Club ( HMG ) member were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges ranging from lying to federal agents, lying to a grand jury, and committing various drug offenses. In addition, a formal criminal complaint was filed against Detroit area attorney Lee O’Brien for lying to federal agents. All charges arose from an FBI investigation that resulted in the indictment of over forty HMG members and associates last year.

Mr. Murphy was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

David Tomlan, a Garden City police officer, was brought to the attention of the FBI by the Garden City Police Department after they discovered he had become an HMG member. ( Tomlan’s employment with the police department has since been terminated ). Tomlan was interviewed by the FBI on several occasions, and was subsequently charged with lying to federal agents about his contact and conversations with HMG member Robert Flowers, following a shooting incident at Flowers’ home. In addition, Tomlan has been charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and steroids, substances found during the execution of a search warrant at his home. HMG member Sean Donovan ( currently incarcerated by the state on stolen property charges ) was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and Vicoden.

Charges were also filed today against Donovan’s former criminal defense attorney, Lee O’Brien, who was charged in a criminal complaint with lying to federal agents regarding his possession, and subsequent sale of a stolen Camaro that he received from Donovan.

Brownstown Police Officer Michael Ramsey and former Detroit Police Reserve Officer Dennis Abraham have both been charged with lying to federal agents and to a grand jury. The charges arose when a patrol officer saw an informant in the HMG investigation meeting with an FBI agent and a detective from Brownstown. This was reported to Michael Ramsey, who discussed it with other officers. Dennis Abraham became aware of these discussions and later warned an HMG member that another member was an informant for the FBI. Both Ramsey and Abraham denied all of this when questioned by federal agents and an investigating grand jury.

Finally, Randell Hutchinson, a Hamtramck police officer assigned to a DEA task force, was indicted for participating in a conspiracy to distribute steroids. As part of his role in the conspiracy, Hutchinson advised HMG member Philip McDonald how to tell if law enforcement officers were focusing on him, tried to get state criminal drug charges against McDonald dropped by claiming him as his own informant, and ultimately disclosed to McDonald the existence of an FBI wiretap on an HMG member.

According to Stephen J. Murphy, “As troubling as any criminal charges are, these indictments are an egregious example of police corruption. It is conduct that undermines the public’s faith in the integrity of the criminal justice system and besmirches the profession of thousands of police officers and agents who perform their duties with the utmost integrity, bravery, and sense of ethics.” The charges carrying sentences ranging from five to twenty years and the fines are 250,000 to 1,000,000.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and by officers from the Brownstown Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane L. Marion .

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Henderson police officer arrested on drug charges
Courier & Press by Gavin Lesnick - March 6, 2008

A Henderson Police Department officer is facing more than two dozen criminal counts stemming from an alleged abuse of prescription medications, according to a news release issued this morning. Jim Morgan, 42, was arrested Wednesday, a day after a grand jury returned 27 counts against him for obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud or false statement to a practitioner. He was released from the Henderson County Detention Center later Wednesday, posting a $350 bond.

Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement Special Investigations in Bowling Green worked the case after the Henderson Police Department requested an investigation regarding possible medication abuse by Morgan. That request was made in December 2007. Henderson Police Department Major Frank Williams said the department will not comment on the arrest because it has its own ongoing internal investigation into the incident.

He said Morgan has been on leave from the department since December 2007. Morgan was the Republican candidate for Henderson County sheriff in 2006, losing to Sheriff Ed Brady by a large margin.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rape Goes Undetected and Officers Are Disciplined

The New York Times by AL BAKER and MANNY FERNANDEZ - March 15, 2008

Two rookie police officers have been disciplined for lying about making rounds in a housing project in Brooklyn where a 30-year-old woman was raped in a stairwell last week, the police said on Friday.

Police video cameras in the building, 375 Blake Avenue in the Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, captured parts of the 1:30 a.m. attack: a man following the victim on and off an elevator and forcing her up a stairwell to a 14th-floor landing. “He grabbed me from behind and displayed a knife,” the victim, who requested anonymity because of the nature of the attack, said in an interview.

She struggled and was cut, she said, and at one point the man said: “I will kill you if you don’t stop screaming, if you don’t stop fighting.” He dragged her to a stairway landing between the top floor and the roof and raped her, she said. But police cameras did not capture the rape itself, and police officials said they did not know if any of the videotape fragments showing the woman and the attacker turned up on the monitors that are continuously watched by officers at the complex. On Friday afternoon, there was a heavy police presence at the complex, one of the biggest in Brooklyn, with 4,275 residents living in 22 buildings. A nearby location, known as Van Dyke II, houses 130 elderly people.

The victim, the mother of a 10-year-old, said she was returning from her job at a homeless shelter on March 6 when a man she recognized from the neighborhood trailed her from a local subway stop to the red brick building where she lives.

He got on the elevator with her, appeared to be using his cellphone and then grabbed her as she took a step to exit the elevator, she said. After the attack, he ran down the stairwell, about 30 minutes after he was seen entering, the police said.

The woman, who was also robbed, said she faulted the police for not being there “at the time you really need them,” and criticized the shoddy upkeep of the building, saying that the front door was broken and that anyone could walk in or out. She said she wanted to see more security at the complex. “I’ve lived here all my life,” she said. “I know how dangerous it is out here.”

Howard Marder, a spokesman for the New York City Housing Authority, said he did not know the specific condition of the building’s door, but said that the staff worked constantly to maintain doors and tried to fix problems as soon as they learned of them.

In investigating the rape, detectives from the housing bureau spoke to two officers who said they were doing “vertical patrols,” walking up and down the stairwells of the building, at the time of the attack and had marked it in their memo books. But investigators who reviewed the videotaped images found no evidence of the officers’ being there.

As a result, the officers, whose names were not released, were placed on modified assignment on Thursday and stripped of their guns and badges, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. The investigation of the police officers was reported on Friday in The Daily News.

There are about 220 cameras in the complex, focused on such areas as lobbies, entrances and exits, rooftops and the inside of elevators. The cameras continually record what they are trained on and feed images to 30 monitors watched by officers in a special room. Each monitor is fed by several cameras, and the images change every 7 seconds. If an officer sees something, he can freeze the monitor so that it stays with one camera image. Otherwise, it takes about 3 minutes 40 seconds for a monitor to cycle through all the cameras that feed it.

The camera images are recorded, regardless of whether they show up on the monitor. But Mr. Browne said there was no way to determine whether fragments of the tape that showed the attacker and his victim together were transmitted into the monitor room. The two police officers and the lieutenant who were working in that room on March 6 said they did not see anything of the episode.“They said they had not seen any evidence of an attack during that period, when they were on duty, on the monitors they were looking at,” Mr. Browne said. Most of what was recorded of the victim and her attacker was innocuous.

At one point, as the victim and the man were in the top-floor landing where the attack occurred, the camera shows a man’s hand on the wall and nothing else; at another point, it shows the man’s back, but the woman is out of view. In fact, so little of the man is seen in the video that the police, rather than releasing images of the suspect, disseminated a sketch of him to find leads.

Residents at the Van Dyke Houses, a vigorously monitored housing project, have a complicated relationship with the cameras. Some see them as necessary crime-fighting tools, while others said they have wondered if the cameras, both inside and outside the buildings, are always on and being monitored. “They say they’re working,” said Nellie Thomas, 60, who lives at 375 Blake Avenue. “I don’t know.”

Jose Rivera, 54, who lives in another building at the complex, said he doubted that the cameras on the elevators always worked. If they did, he said, the authorities would be able to catch the people who spread graffiti or who damage or urinate in them.

Still, said Mr. Marder of the housing authority, the cameras have served their purpose. “We are constantly getting requests from resident leaders and elected officials throughout the city to increase video surveillance because of its effectiveness in reducing crime.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ex-cop gets 1-year sentence in fatal DWI crash

NEWSDAY by Michael Frazier ( - March 14, 2008

The ex-New York City police officer convicted in the 2006 drunk-driving crash killing her fellow officer received a 1-year jail sentence Friday instead of the 6 months promised to her after pleading guilty in the case.

In January, former office Danielle Baymack, 23, of Queens pleaded guilty in the death of Marlene Rivera, 24, of Brooklyn, in the Sept. 22, 2006, crash on Sunrise Highway in Wantagh. They were off duty.

In a surprising turn, Rivera's mother, Anna Fernandez, took the stand then and asked Nassau County Judge Meryl Berkowitz to sentence Baymack to 6 months in jail and 5 years' probation. At the request of the family, Berkowitz accepted Baymack's plea for a promise to the sentence.

But Berkowitz said Friday that she found it "difficult" to honor the parents' wishes and instead handed down a longer sentence. Still, Baymack escaped a possible 15-year sentence.

"I just want to say how sorry I am," a tearful Baymack said before sentencing. Great Neck attorney Raymond Silverman, who spoke on behalf of Rivera's mother and father, Jose Rivera, said they were satisfied with the ruling.

"They have forgiven Miss Baymack," Silverman said after the hearing. Rivera's parents left before the sentencing. Baymack was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in the crash.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FBI Investigates Prostitution Allegations

FBI Investigates Prostitution Allegations

Posted by familydynamics on March 10, 2008

A retired State Supreme Court justice resigned his post as a hearing officer as federal agents investigate his alleged role in taking a local massage parlor worker across state lines for purposes of prostitution.

FBI and U.S. Border Patrol agents are investigating allegations that retired Judge Ronald H. Tills, his former law clerk and a retired police captain took the female massage parlor employee in a motor home to a gathering of members of a nationwide group called the Royal Order of Jesters.

At the Jesters event, law enforcement officials said, the woman allegedly was paid to perform sexual favors. Police said the men who took her to the event could face federal criminal charges for transporting her over state lines for the purposes of prostitution.

The probe recently led to the resignations of Tills, a retired state judge who had been working as a judicial hearing officer, and Michael Stebick, a part-time law clerk in the state courts in Buffalo, New York.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Top Garden City cop gets sweet deal


After a 47-year career with the Garden City Police Department, Ernest J. Cipullo retired as commissioner on a Saturday in September 2006. That allowed him to begin collecting his $100,132 annual pension. Two days later, on the following Monday, he was back at work -- at the same job. Cipullo, now 72, has continued to work as commissioner and earns a salary of $175,434 a year, bringing his annual income to $275,566.

Mayor Peter A. Bee and village board members voted unanimously to rehire Cipullo after he quit working because Bee said Cipullo was "the best person" to manage the department that consists of 54 sworn police officers, 13 civilian employees and half a dozen school crossing guards. "He's doing a great job and there is no reason to let him go," Bee said in an interview last week.

There is nothing illegal about the arrangement. Government workers 65 and older who retire with full pensions are permitted by state law to return to the same jobs and collect full-time salaries. But Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) said he has drafted legislation that would stop the payment of pensions of more than $70,000 a year to civil servants who then return to the same jobs or substantially similar jobs.

The legislation, Sweeney said, is being reviewed by State Comptroller Thomas .DiNapoli. Sweeney said Cipullo's case illustrates the kind of waste and abuse in government that is criticized by Long Islanders. "Why is he worth so much more from one day to the next?" Sweeney said. "That's a little tough to justify." Cipullo did not return repeated calls left at his office.

In Suffolk, three civil servants retired recently and went back to the same job the same or next day. Two of them are on the county payroll, collecting full salaries and full pensions. The third was let go in January. Jim Fuchs, a spokesman for DiNapoli, said last year there were 791 retired civil servants working in municipal jobs statewide. Of the 791, 16 were between the ages of 65 and 69 and collected more than $100,000 each in pensions, he said.

Cipullo is not the only retired civil servant on Garden City's payroll who is collecting a full pension and a full salary. Kevin E. Ocker, 56, a former Nassau County deputy parks commissioner, was hired in 2003 by Bee and the village board as chairman of the cultural and recreational affairs board.

Ocker, who currently receives $112,918 a year, oversees a department of 24 full-time employees and a group of seasonal workers. He retired from his Nassau job on Dec. 31, 2002, and has been collecting an annual pension of $52,808.24, bringing his income to a total of $165,726.24 this year. Ocker did not return repeated calls for comments.

Village administrator Robert L. Schoelle Jr. said the village conducted a search last July for the position but could not find qualified nonretirees despite receiving 33 resumes. Schoelle said he interviewed one candidate from Florida who he said had "limited" experience. "She lacked the qualification we were looking for," Schoelle said.

The other 32 candidates who applied were deemed by Schoelle not to have the educational background or experience in horticulture the village was seeking. So, the village applied to New York State for a two-year renewable waiver, commonly referred to as a 211 waiver, for permission to hire Ocker because he was less than 65 years old and there were no qualified nonretirees for the position.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Indicted officer may have preyed on undocumented women


The New York City correction officer indicted in the rape and robbery of several women at gunpoint in Hempstead may have carefully selected Hispanic women to prey upon, police are probing -- because those women may be more likely to be undocumented and less likely to report the crime.

Ricardo Walters, 42, of 132 Martin Ave. in Hempstead, who was arrested last September when one of his alleged victims flagged down a Hempstead police officer during an attack on Jerusalem Avenue, may have gambled on the premise that his victims were in the country illegally, police said: All but one of his known alleged victims are Hispanic and most are undocumented.

"We want to get the word out we believe many of the victims in this case were largely targeted because they were Latino or Hispanic possibly under the notion that, as undocumented, they may not be forthright and come forward as a victim," said Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey said Friday at a news conference. Walters' attorney, Dennis Lemke of Mineola, said he will move to dismiss the case next week when Walters, who is being held without bail at the Nassau jail, is arraigned in court Wednesday.

"Two victims could not identify my client in a lineup," Lemke said. "There's no DNA, no statements or admissions." Police said they connected five cases because they found common criminal methods in the attacks: Walters robbed, then raped or tried to rape each of the women. A Nassau County grand jury indicted Walters on 21 counts in all including six counts of kidnapping, five counts of first-degree robbery, four counts of first-degree sex abuse, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of first-degree rape and one count of predatory sexual assault.

The charges stem from sexually motivated attacks in which police say Walters brandished a gun and robbed women of cash, as little as $11 and as much as $300, then raped or tried to rape them.

"When it's someone who's sworn to protect the public, taking advantage of his position, the fact that he is legally allowed to carry a gun and then uses that gun to victimize innocent and defenseless people, it's despicable," said Det. Lt. Richard Zeto, commander of the Special Victims Squad. Walters is an 11-year veteran correction officer who worked at Rikers Island.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


CAROLINA SALGADO - "Gang" hubby busted, too.

March 17, 2007 -- A city cop got caught with her drawers down, after a large stash of drugs was allegedly found hidden among her lingerie in the Long Island home she shares with her Latin Kings gang-member boyfriend, sources said yesterday.

Authorities said they found numerous bags of cocaine and marijuana ready for sale in the Long Beach home of NYPD rookie officer Carolina Salgado, 30. The raid was conducted Thursday night by members of the Nassau County District Attorney's Office, the NYPD and Long Beach cops. After entering the house with a warrant, officers found three children home alone - 12- and 11-year-old boys and a 3-month-old girl, authorities said.

All the seized drugs were found stashed inside Salgado's skivvies drawer, including 150 small bags of pot and two bags of cocaine. The officers also found $3,000 and a large collection of paraphernalia linked to the notorious Latin Kings gang, of which Salgado's boyfriend Nelson Fernandez, 26, is a reputed member. The cop - assigned to the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville, Brooklyn - was found in a car with Fernandez a short time after the raid. The couple was nabbed with a carload of drugs, including 15 bags of marijuana and two bags of cocaine. When investigators asked Salgado how she got involved, she told them, "What do you want me to do? I'm pregnant with his kid."

Sources said that the bust of the allegedly crooked cop went down after a monthlong probe, in which investigators spotted drug sales at the couple's home. Sometimes, they saw alleged buyers drive up and take packages from their mailbox. Other times, they saw the 12-year-old - who along with his brother had a different father - greeting visitors at the home. Salgado and Fernandez were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and drug possession. Fernandez is also charged with selling pot, said a Nassau DA spokesman.

Salgado, a beat cop who joined the force in July 2005, has been suspended. She was ordered held without bail, while Fernandez's bail was set at $5,000. Sources said Fernandez, a predicate felon, has prior arrests for assault, attempted assault and drug possession.

Friday, March 7, 2008

NYPD trying to keep secrets

The Crime Column by Rocco Parascandola
Newsday (New York)- March 3, 2008

What, exactly, is David Cohen hiding?

Is the NYPD's deputy commissioner of intelligence trying to shield Police Commissioner Ray Kelly from some embarrassing and damaging information about how police spied on activists before the 2004 Republican National Convention? Or is Cohen simply not capable, after 35 years working for the CIA, of acting like anything but a spy?

Cohen, in what appears to be a first for a law enforcement agency other than the CIA, FBI or NSA, wants a federal judge to let him file a secret affidavit, one that the other side - the New York Civil Liberties Union - would not be allowed to see. In other words, Cohen wants to state his case in an American courtroom, then let the other side respond to something it's not heard or seen.

Cohen says he's got a good reason for this: Doing otherwise would endanger the lives of undercovers and informants and reveal certain investigative methods that would make it difficult for police to infiltrate certain groups and prevent a terrorist attack.

But the NYCLU, which has filed a lawsuit on behalf of people who say they were wrongly arrested and detained during the convention, says it is not interested in the names of undercovers or informants, nor in the NYPD's techniques.

It just wants to know what information the NYPD learned by spying, surveillance that included some persons and groups with criminal pasts, as well as groups of no apparent danger such as Bands Against Bush, a group of artists who mix music with political speeches, and the New York City AIDS Housing Network, a social service organization.

"The point is, in our country court proceedings are public," says Christopher Dunn, the NYCLU's associate legal director. "The government doesn't get to make secret arguments to judges. "We simply do not have secret lawsuits in this country." Cohen, however, feels differently.

He did not respond to a request for comment, but he says in court papers that availing the affidavit to the public would "provide the reader with a road map for conducting counterintelligence and the revelation of sources and methods."

He told Federal Magistrate James Francis that sensitive information redacted by Francis in police documents submitted earlier in the case revealed too much critical information. Now, Cohen says that the only way for the NYPD to submit further documents about its surveillance tactics would be to let him file an affidavit that would be off limits to the NYCLU and the public.

In late January, however, Francis in a strongly-worded decision told Cohen to forget it, noting that "permitting the submission of secret argument is antithetical to our adversary system of justice."

"It is the rare case where the very arguments presented to the court in order to influence its decision may justifiably be shielded from opposing counsel and from the public," Francis wrote in his decision. "This is not that case."

The NYPD has since asked the trial judge in the case, Richard Sullivan, to reverse Francis' decision. Michael Cardozo, the city's corporation counsel, says in court papers that Francis' "failure to balance the harm of disclosing that information against plaintiffs' need is clearly erroneous and contrary to law. The city's determination is no surprise, given the sea change since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Under Kelly, less public information, such as the names of officers who fire their weapons and the names of nonfatal crime victims, is released. And it's increasingly common for other city agencies, when faced with a reporter's question that involves their agency and police, to ask if the NYPD is aware of the story. The stop and frisk controversy also rages on with the NYPD repeatedly dodging efforts by the City Council to learn more about how police stop people on the streets.

More recently, a judge in Manhattan Federal Court ruled that the NYPD must turn over documents regarding its videotaping practices. The decision is part of a decades-old class action lawsuit that resulted in the Handschu Guidelines.

The guidelines put in place a series of court orders that regulate how police can monitor political demonstrations. But the NYPD, citing concerns of a terrorist attack, wants these guidelines relaxed. Jed Eisenstein, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, says Cohen's efforts to give police more latitude in monitoring political activity, goes to the heart of his mind-set.

"He comes from a culture where the idea of civilian oversight or anything that balances the rights of citizens with what the government wants is to him like: "What?'" Eisenstein says. "He didn't know from that in his 30 years at the CIA.

"The goal, I think, is to prevent disclosure."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New York City cop charged with driving intoxicated after Yonkers crash

The Journal News by WIll David March 3, 2008 (

YONKERS - A 27-year-old New York City police officer was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol after he crashed his car into another car backing out of a Yonkers driveway.

Investigators said Police Officer Robert N. Foley, who was off-duty at the time of the accident, was unsteady on his feet, swaying from side to side, had glassy red eyes, a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and slurred speech when Yonkers police arrived.

Foley also had trouble taking his wallet out to show Yonkers police his identification after the accident at 6:43 a.m. Saturday, police said.

The man whose car was hit was backing out of his Kimball Avenue driveway when he noticed Foley's green Ford Explorer coming toward him, he told police. Foley's car crashed into the man's vehicle, driving it it into a parked car, investigators said.

The 70-year-old Kimball Avenue resident was taken to St. Joseph's Medical Center by ambulance. His condition is not believed to be life-threatening, police said.

Police Lt. Diane Hessler said Foley refused a breath test and - because he appeared intoxicated - he was charged with operating a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition and refusing to submit to a chemical test, misdemeanors.

The New York Police Department was notified about the accident and Foley's arrest, Hessler said.

The department did not respond to inquiries about whether Foley had been suspended following the accident.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Two men busted on unconstitutional loitering law file a class-action suit


Two men busted on a loitering law declared unconstitutional 25 years ago have filed a federal class-action suit accusing the city and NYPD of false arrest. If the suit is certified as a class-action case, it will cover others illegally arrested - meaning it could cost the city a bundle.
A Daily News computer review found that 2,513 people have been arrested under the law since it was thrown out in 1983.

The suit is related to a pending class-action case accusing the NYPD of arresting thousands of people under an anti-panhandling law that was ruled unconstitutional in 1992. In 2006, the city agreed to pay former beggar Eddie Wise $100,000 to drop his complaint. That suit remains active as dozens more panhandlers came forward with similar claims.

In the new suit, Paul Casale, a midtown ad agency coordinator, and Anthony Garcia, a married Brooklyn dad, were busted at the Port Authority last March and strip-searched, their lawyers said. "This action seeks to end - finally, for all time - this pattern and practice of unconstitutional conduct by police officers in the NYPD," the suit says.

Casale, 50, who lives on the upper West Side, was walking with Garcia, 33, who is on public assistance, when they were approached by cops on a sidewalk outside the bus depot, the lawyers said Tuesday. Casale, who had never before been arrested, had run into Garcia, a friend, who had just put a woman friend on a bus, the lawyers said. Lawyer Katie Rosenfeld said it was unclear why they were arrested but the cops did so under a law voided in 1988.
"They were walking when they were arrested, they were doing nothing wrong," Rosenfeld said.

The men were taken into custody under a law that made a person guilty of loitering if they were unable to give a "satisfactory explanation" as to why they were in a transportation facility. "You can't arrest someone for not having a sufficient explanation - but they do," said Matthew Brinckerhoff, another lawyer on the case. "It's even crazier when [the statute is] long dead." City Law Department officials said they had not seen the suit and could not comment. The men are suing even though the charges were eventually dropped.

The suit also challenges the enforcement of a second subsection of the penal code, one that made it illegal to solicit "deviant" sex in a public place. The Daily News found that cops have logged more than 2,600 arrests statewide since the law was thrown out - nearly all of them in the city.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008



March 4, 2008 -- Two "vigilante" Staten Island cops were indicted yesterday on charges they punished a 14-year-old Halloween prankster last year by stripping and abandoning him in a desolate swamp.
Richard Danese and Thomas Elliassen of the 120th Precinct handcuffed Rayshawn Moreno and tossed him into the back of their patrol car to teach him a lesson for egging cars, according to Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

But instead of charging him, they allegedly dispensed their own brand of punishment by taking him for a 40-minute drive, stripping him, hitting him and abandoning him alongside railroad tracks.

The cops will be arraigned on a 33-count indictment that will be unsealed today in Staten Island Supreme Court. The most serious charge is unlawful imprisonment, a felony that could land them behind bars for up to four years. "I'm sorry. I can't make a comment or anything like that," Danese said before hanging up when called for comment.

Eliassen's lawyer, John Patten, said, "When all the facts come out, there will be two completely different versions of the story." Rayshawn's mother, Telisa Hazel, said, "We're really happy that these officers were finally indicted and we hope that they will be held accountable for their actions."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Top officer testifies for prosecution in Bell case


"It is getting hot, getting hot!" was the frantic telephone call a police commander remembered getting from a detective in the moments before Sean Bell was shot dead after partying at a Jamaica strip club.

In testimony Friday in State Supreme Court in Queens, Lt. Gary Napoli said that Gescard Isnora, who was working undercover, called him with an urgent message - that there might be a gun among a group of men arguing outside the club. "I told units to move in to where Jessie is," Napoli, 50, testified, referring to Isnora by his nickname.

Moments later around the corner on Liverpool Street, Napoli said that he suddenly saw the Nissan Altima Bell was driving speed away from the curb. The next instant, recalled Napoli, he heard a collision and then shooting. Bell, 23, died in a 50-shot barrage fired by cops early on Nov. 25, 2006.

Napoli testified as a prosecution witness in the trial of Isnora, 29, and detectives Michael Oliver, 36, and Marc Cooper, 40. Isnora and Oliver are charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter, as well as assault. Cooper is charged with reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. The case is being tried without a jury before Judge Arthur J. Cooperman.

Under questioning by Executive Assistant District Attorney Charles Testagrossa, Napoli said he did not see the collision or shooting because his Toyota Camry was facing in the wrong direction. The supervisor of an undercover operation targeting suspected prostitution at the Kalua Cabaret, Napoli said he drew his own gun in his car, then ducked low, got out and hunkered down for cover at the rear of the vehicle. Napoli didn't fire any shots.

Napoli said that he didn't hear anyone shout "police" or "Stop, police" and didn't recall seeing any of the officers in his unit display a badge, although he stressed he wasn't looking for the latter in the chaos.

Unlike other civilian witnesses who testified hearing a pause of as long as 10 seconds in the shooting before it resumed, Napoli said on cross-examination that the shots seemed continuous. When the firing stopped, Napoli said the quiet seemed "surreal."

"We were all in a bit of a surreal situation at that time," Napoli said. Napoli's testimony meshed with that of earlier prosecution witnesses who claimed there was an angry altercation between Bell and another man outside the club and that there was a collision between Bell's car and a police van. Other witnesses also reported they did not see police badges on the cops or hear any warnings before the shooting.

But Napoli is the first witness to give evidence that Isnora relayed to his supervisor his fears that there might be a gun among Bell's entourage. Under cross-examination by Isnora's attorney, Anthony Ricco, Napoli appeared to undercut the prosecution's suggestion that the unit was trying to get arrests at Kalua to avoid being disbanded.

"We were out there because it was our job," Napoli said. "Whether we made an arrest wouldn't have kept [the unit alive]." Outside court, Napoli's attorney Howard Tanner told reporters the lieutenant still believes his cops were legally justified in firing. Tanner told Newsday that Napoli could face departmental charges for the shooting incident.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Black officers vow change in wake of friendly-fire death

Black officers vow change in wake of Ridley's death
The Journal News by Terence Corcoran - March 1, 2008

MOUNT VERNON - As he struggled to break up an assault Jan. 25 in downtown White Plains, Mount Vernon Police Officer Christopher Ridley might have let one thing slip his mind: the color of his skin.

Ridley, 23, was off duty and in civilian clothes when he was killed that day by Westchester County police while trying to arrest homeless convict Anthony Jacobs. At a gathering last night of the Westchester chapter of the National Black Police Association, retired New York City officer Charles Billups said that Ridley probably never thought he would be mistaken for a suspect.

"The saddest thing about this shooting is that I think the brother forgot that he was black," Billups said. Billups said he attended the funeral of Ridley, who was posthumously promoted to detective, and thought of how many other black officers were shot because they were misidentified.

"We need to do something," Billups said. Damon K. Jones, executive director of the Westchester chapter of the NBPA and a county corrections officer, said several things need to be done.

First, Westchester County must never forget the tragedy of Ridley's death and learn from it, he said. Law enforcement must work to improve its relationship with the community, and black officers can take the lead, Jones said. "The black law-enforcement profession can be one of the most powerful tools," he said.

But, first, he said, the makeup of Westchester police rosters must change to reflect the communities they serve. Jones noted that roughly 18 percent of the approximately 200,000 people living in Yonkers are black, yet the Yonkers Police Department is only 4 percent black.

The Mount Vernon Police Department has one of the highest percentages of black officers - roughly one in four of the department's 211 officers - but the city is 62 percent black. "Proper representation of black law-enforcement professionals is a key," Jones said. Ridley's father, Stanley Ridley, attended the meeting and graciously, though sadly, accepted a plaque honoring his son's sacrifice.

He said he gave his son to the community, adding that his son was working to turn the community around. "He thought he was a cop all the time. We should never have to go through this again," Stanley Ridley said. State Sen. Eric Adams, D-Brooklyn, a retired New York City officer, told Ridley that his son did not die in vain. "We will turn pain into purpose," Adams said. "Chris will be the rallying cry that forces law enforcement to look at itself." (

Saturday, March 1, 2008

NYPD Lieutenant's shocking recollection at Sean Bell trial

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS - Saturday, March 1st 2008

Lt. Gary Napoli, the supervisor of the undercover cops that killed Sean Bell, arrives at court in Queens Friday. He testified that he did not remember anyone on his team yelling 'Police!'

NYPD Detectives Gescard Isnora (r.) and Michael Oliver arriving in court Friday. They have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and reckless endangerment, respectively. The leader of the NYPD detectives who killed Sean Bell in a 50-bullet barrage testified Friday he didn't hear his men identify themselves as cops before they opened fire.

Lt. Gary Napoli, the hapless leader of the undercover unit that night, also said he "didn't see any badges" in plain view before the cops shot Bell on his wedding day.

"Did you hear any police commands?" prosecutor Charles Testagrossa asked. "No," Napoli said. "Did you ever hear any shouts, 'Police!' 'Don't move!" Testagrossa asked. "No," Napoli replied again.

The stunning admission came on the fourth day of the 50-shot trial, which began with Napoli being forced to identify accused detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper by name.

Then Napoli, who was not charged with a crime but has been accused of incompetence, gave his version of events that culminated with the death of the 23-year-old groom-to-be outside a seedy Queens strip joint on Nov. 25, 2006. Napoli's team was doing a sting at the Kalua Cabaret on 94th Ave., where Bell - a father of two - was having his bachelor party.

In earlier testimony, Napoli admitted the ill-fated operation was poorly planned but he was determined to make one more arrest so they could padlock the club. Two of the slain man's friends have said Bell exchanged angry words with a man identified as Fabio Coicou outside the club. They thought the other man was armed.

Napoli said he was sitting a block away in the passenger seat of an unmarked car when Isnora called him from outside the club and reported the escalating squabble. Seconds later, Isnora called again. This time, he sounded "frantic" and reported he was tailing Bell and his buddies Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield down Liverpool St. to Bell's car, Napoli said.

"It's getting hot," Isnora said, Napoli testified. "I need you here in a minute." Napoli said he radioed the other officers. "I know I yelled, 'Move in! Move in!' " he said. "I don't know if I gave them a specific area. At that point, the clock was moving fast."

Napoli said they quickly spotted Isnora, who gave three sharp head nods in the direction of Bell's car. When they pulled up beside Bell's car, Napoli said he reached under the dashboard to pick up a dome light. That's when, Napoli said, he heard the sounds of cars colliding - and gunfire.

Napoli said he didn't see any of his men shoot because he was looking down and that he crawled out of his car - with gun drawn - to avoid being hit. When the shooting stopped, Bell was dead, Guzman and Benefield were badly wounded, and the cops were stunned.

"There was almost like an eerie silence," Napoli said. "I yelled out, 'Has anyone been hit?' I heard voices saying, 'We're okay.' " Napoli said he walked over to Bell's bullet-riddled car, which smashed into an unmarked police van driven by Oliver, and ordered the men inside to show their hands.

"We were all in shock," Napoli said. "We thanked God that none of us was hit and we were going home." Defense lawyers claim cops went after Bell's car because they believed he'd gone there to get a gun so he could deal with Coicou.

They said Bell was drunk and rammed his car into the NYPD van. They said they opened fire because somebody inside Bell's car reached for a gun. No gun was found in Bell's car and Coicou also was unarmed. Bell's pals have denied police claims that somebody said, "Yo, go get my gun" before the shooting started.

Oliver, who fired 31 rounds, including the fatal shot, and Isnora, who fired 11 shots, have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. Cooper, who fired four times, has pleaded not guilty to reckless endangerment. The trial resumes Monday with testimony from some EMS workers.