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Thursday, November 6, 2008

City Pays for Cop's Excessive Force

City paid $50G to settle excessive-force suits against same officer in subway sodomy case

The New York Daily News bY ALISON GENDAR AND JOHN MARZULLI - November 6, 2008

The city paid $50,000 this year to settle two excessive-force suits against an NYPD cop involved in an alleged sodomy attack on a Brooklyn tattoo artist, the Daily News has learned. Officer Richard Kern of the 71st Precinct has been on the force four years, but he's been involved in lots of controversy. Kern, one of four cops suspected of sodomizing Michael Mineo at the Prospect Park station on Oct. 15, was a defendant in separate federal suits involving the arrests in 2007 of two men in a Flatbush apartment building who say cops brutally beat them. In a suit settled for $27,500, Jonathan Cadet contended he was doing laundry in his building with a friend, Jean Michel, when Kern, Officer John Walsh and two other cops confronted them at gunpoint. Cadet said in papers filed in Manhattan Federal Court that Kern and Walsh "unnecessarily struck" him "several times in his face and head."

The complaint alleges Walsh and Kern lied to prosecutors in order to have Cadet charged with trespassing - even though he lived in the building. Michel, who was also arrested, accused Kern of failing to protect him "from the illegal conduct of his fellow officers." Michel, who sued in Brooklyn Federal Court, received a $22,500 settlement from the city. A spokeswoman for the city Law Department said, "The settlements were in the best interest of all parties." Meanwhile, two key witnesses in the case against the four cops suspected in the alleged sodomy attack on Mineo are expected to testify before a grand jury. Mineo, 24, and one of the officers expected to support his story will tell their version of the alleged attack, sources say. First up will be Mineo, who claims cops chased him into a Prospect Park subway station, where one officer sodomized him with a radio antenna. Police investigators quickly dismissed Mineo's allegations, but prosecutors have heard from several witnesses, including the lawyer of the transit officer at the scene who backed Mineo's story. The officer is expected to testify after Mineo.

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