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Monday, May 14, 2012

Cop Added to 'Stop-And-Frisk' Lawsuit

Staten Island man Kenrick Gray adds NYPD cop Michael Daragjati to stop-and-frisk lawsuit 
The New York Daily News -  EXCLUSIVE - by John Marzulli  -  May 14, 2012
After Gray's false arrest, cop bragged to associate that he 'fried another n----r,' court papers say

A black man from Staten Island is fighting back against a bigoted NYPD cop who falsely arrested him during a stop-and-frisk and later bragged he had “fried another n----r.” Kenrick Gray has quietly filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court against Officer Michael Daragjati, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation for the trumped-up collar, the Daily News has learned. Gray, 32, was already a plaintiff in a pending federal lawsuit alleging he was unlawfully stopped and frisked two separate times by NYPD cops in 2010. The lawsuit was amended last month to include his run-in with Daragjati, Gray’s lawyer confirmed. Daragjati had stopped Gray on April 15, 2011, frisked him in a heavy-handed fashion, and let him go, according to court papers. But then Gray complained to Daragjati about the rough treatment. Daragjati, feeling disrespected, arrested him on fabricated charges, claiming Gray had resisted arrest. “Another n----r fried, no big deal,” Daragjati told an associate — a conversation investigators recorded through a phone tap, the court papers state. The FBI had been probing Daragjati in an unrelated extortion investigation for threatening someone whom he thought had stolen his snowplow. In the course of that investigation, authorities secretly taped Daragjati discussing Gray’s arrest on the phone. In all three stop-and-frisk incidents described in Gray’s complaint, he alleges cops “lacked reasonable suspicion” that he was involved in criminal activity to justify detaining and searching him. The NYPD has come under heavy criticism from some City Council members, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and the New York Civil Liberties Union for its stop-and-frisk program. A record number of stops were recorded last year — 685,724 — the vast majority of which involved blacks and Latinos. Gray’s lawyer, Brett Klein, said that without the tapes, no one would have believed his client was a victim of police wrongdoing. “The revelation of Daragjati’s degrading and racist comments confirms our worst fears, and is both devastating and humiliating to Mr. Gray — and should be a concern to all New Yorkers,” he said. Gray is seeking unspecified monetary and punitive damages from Daragjati and the city, which settled another false arrest suit involving the cop for $57,500 in March. Daragjati is scheduled to be sentenced next month. He faces up to a year for the civil rights violation, and a maximum of 20 years for the unrelated extortion rap, to which he also pleaded guilty. 

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