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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Man says NYPD assaulted him; cops deny claim



NEW YORK -- Prosecutors are investigating allegations that five New York City police officers attacked a tattoo parlor worker and sodomized him with a walkie-talkie in a subway station.
The 24-year-old man says the officers then wrote him a disorderly conduct ticket and abandoned him as he was writhing in pain.
The police department disputes the allegations and strongly denies the man was sodomized.
"Police officers grappled with an individual who they observed smoking marijuana after he had fled and resisted being handcuffed. His assertion that he was sodomized is not supported by independent civilian witnesses on the scene," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement.
The case is being investigated by the police department and the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.
The accusations brought back memories of the 1997 assault of Abner Louima, who was beaten and sodomized with a broomstick in a police precinct by officers in one of the most notorious cases of police brutality in NYPD history.
In the latest case, lawyers for the accuser came forward Thursday afternoon with the startling allegations, and a hospital confirmed that he was admitted on the day of the alleged attack and spent four days there.
The man was back in the hospital on Thursday, complaining he was urinating blood and suffering lingering pain, the Daily News reported.
Lawyers say five police officers approached Michael Mineo on Oct. 15 around 12:30 p.m. because they believed he was smoking marijuana near a subway stop in Brooklyn.
When the tattoo parlor employee entered the station, he claims officers jumped him from behind, handcuffed him and wrestled him to the ground, according to attorney Stephen Jackson.
Mineo told his lawyers that he felt a foot on his neck as the officers beat him, then yanked down his pants and sodomized him with the walkie-talkie. The lawyers say the officers took the bleeding Mineo into a police car, wrote him a disorderly conduct ticket and left him at the subway station.
"My God, this just sent chills throughout my body when I heard this," Jackson said. "This is one of the most horrendous acts of police brutality."
One of Mineo's co-workers took him to the hospital, where he remained most of the week with internal injuries. His attorney says the hospital administrator contacted the Brooklyn District Attorney's office because it appeared Mineo was the victim of a sexual assault.
Jackson said medical records corroborate Mineo's story, but would not immediately provide copies of them. Mineo was not available to speak. Brookdale Hospital officials confirmed that he was admitted on Oct. 15 and discharged four days later.
Jackson said he and Mineo didn't go public with the allegations right away because they wanted to give prosecutors time to investigate.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said many initial details about the incident cast doubt on Mineo's claims.
For instance, the official said Mineo initially yelled at the scene that he had been shocked with a stun-gun by the officers, but none of the officers was carrying the weapon.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's office says it doesn't comment on any open investigations. Mineo was previously arrested in June on a charge of gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/national/BO92593/
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Discrepancies in NYPD sodomy case

By Rocco Parascandola
Newsday

NEW YORK - The disorderly conduct summons issued to Michael Mineo clearly states police officers identified him by his New York State public assistance benefits card.
But Mineo - the 24-year-old tattoo parlor employee who has accused police of sodomizing him on the afternoon of Oct. 15 on a Brooklyn subway platform - may not have been carrying any identification on him at the time, say police and other sources familiar with the investigation.
The discrepancy, one of many yet to be reconciled in the case, raises questions about exactly what happened that day at the Prospect Park station in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, sources familiar with the investigation say.
Mineo was confronted outside the station for smoking marijuana, then ran off and resisted arrest when police caught him inside the station, the New York Police Department said. Mineo said he was beaten and violated with a police radio by Officer Alex Cruz, one of four 71st Precinct officers now the subject of an investigative grand jury inquiry.
Mineo was hospitalized initially for five days after the altercation and was admitted last week to another hospital, where he remains.
The summons appears to be written by one of the other officers at the scene and accuses Mineo of acting "disorderly by blocking vehicle and ped. traffic, causing public alarm and fear."
It also seems to be defective, as it instructs Mineo to fight the charge in court, if he chooses not to plead guilty, on Jan. 2, 2008, nine months before the incident happened.
Police often arrest those who resist them even on minor offenses, police sources say. But if Mineo was not carrying proper identification, under NYPD guidelines, he should have been arrested and put through the system.
Even if he did have the benefits card on him, as it states on the summons, it is still not clear why the officers did not arrest Mineo, as he was wanted on two warrants.
One warrant was issued in Brooklyn on Aug. 13, 2007, after Mineo failed to appear in court for a summons he had received because police said he was drinking alcohol from an open container. The other was issued in Lancaster County, Pa., when he failed to show up in court in a stolen credit card case from 2003.
The four officers are on administrative duty working inside the precinct. Police have not identified the other officers, though sources say one, Cruz's partner, is Officer Noel Jugraj. Cruz and Jugraj could not be reached.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Grand jury weighs sodomy claim against NYPD cop

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - On the afternoon of Oct. 15, a body piercer named Michael Mineo was approached by a group of police officers who thought he was smoking marijuana. Mineo fled into a subway station, argued with the officers, and was issued a ticket for disorderly conduct.
But what really happened inside that subway station is highly contested, and has led to one of the most explosive allegations of police brutality by the NYPD in recent memory.
Mineo claims four officers assaulted him in horrific fashion, yanking down his pants and sodomizing him with a walkie-talkie antenna so brutally that he was left bleeding. He says the officers then put him into a police car, and, unsure what to do with him, let him go with a minor ticket and told him to keep his mouth shut. He spent the next four days in a hospital.
The police department says Mineo's claims are greatly exaggerated, denying that he was sodomized and describing the altercation as a "scuffle." Police officials say that witness accounts back up their claim.
The Brooklyn District Attorney is taking the allegations seriously enough that he convened a special investigative grand jury to decide whether to bring charges against the officers.
"Because it's a special grand jury, they will only focus on this case," said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University. "What he's created is a separate track, solely for this case, that exhibits his agreement that this is serious enough to warrant a concentrated look."
The grand jury must sift through contradictory and possibly confusing evidence, and legal experts say it could take a few weeks before any decisions are reached.
The evidence will likely include medical reports, scientific tests of the walkie-talkie, and testimony from witnesses and the officers.
Both sides say they have witnesses who either saw the attack or didn't see it, including a transit worker and his 12-year-old son who said they didn't witness the alleged sodomy even as Mineo was yelling out that he was being "violated."
But a law enforcement official confirmed reports Friday that a transit officer involved in the incident has volunteered to speak to prosecutors, and that his account may support Mineo's.
Prosecutors had not yet spoken to the officer as of Friday. But initial conversations with his lawyer suggest he "backs up the victim," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the grand jury investigation had not been completed.
Hospital discharge papers reviewed by The Associated Press show that upon arrival at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center on Oct. 15, Mineo was diagnosed with "anal assault." The hospital discharge papers from Oct. 19 said Mineo arrived at the hospital complaining he had been assaulted by police with a foreign object.
A second law enforcement official told the AP that a baton and a radio antenna taken from the locker of one of the officers was tested and found Monday to be negative for fecal matter, blood and tissue. Results from DNA tests that could yield more evidence were pending. The official spoke on the condition of anonmyity because the investigation is ongoing.
Questions have also surrounded the disorderly conduct ticket that the officers issued Mineo.
The ticket shows he had identification on him, but his attorneys say he didn't. The summons describes the offense as "blocking vehicle and pedestrian traffic causing public alarm and fear," and doesn't mention anything about drugs.
In addition, there is at least one outstanding warrant on Mineo - for drinking alcohol in public - that was either ignored or undiscovered by the officers issuing the summons.
The saga has drawn considerable attention, with the Rev. Al Sharpton showing up at Mineo's hospital bed last weekend after he suffered complications from his injuries.

It has also evoked comparisons to Abner Louima, who was beaten and sodomized with a broomstick in a police precinct by officers in one of the worst cases of brutality in NYPD history.
But there are many differences between the two cases. The 1997 case stoked racial tensions in the city, with Louima being black and the officers white. Mineo is white, and the officers are black, white and Hispanic.
From the beginning, police have made it clear that they welcome a thorough grand jury investigation.
"We are working closely with the district attorney," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday. "Our Internal Affairs Bureau people are very much involved in the investigation as it is conducted through the auspices of the grand jury."
It is unclear what charges the grand jury might be considering. But legal experts said that if the officers are indicted, it will likely be some form of assault, and if Mineo's story is found to be false, it's not likely he would face any additional charges.
The officers are still on duty but have been assigned to administrative duties because members of the press were attempting to interview them, police officials said. The fact that the NYPD kept the officers on duty after Mineo came forward signals that they have strong doubts about the allegations.
The case is also being investigated by the police department, but the department must wait until the district attorney's investigation is completed before interviewing the officers.
___ Associated Press Writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081101/ap_on_re_us/police_assault;_ylt=AqB2wApwH3GKBzqP.9Cpgzas0NUE
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cop may cooperate in NYPD sodomy case

By Anthony M. Destefano and Rocco Parascandola
Newsday

NEW YORK - The Brooklyn police officer who witnessed the subway platform confrontation between a 24-year-old man and four other cops accused of sodomizing him with a police radio is considering cooperating with authorities, according to sources briefed on the investigation.
It was not clear what the officer could lend to the grand jury investigation, but sources briefed on the matter say the officer's potential testimony at the very least may bolster Michael Mineo's claim that he was beaten up.
Mineo was confronted outside the station for smoking marijuana, then ran off and resisted arrest when police caught him inside the station.
A tattoo parlor employee from Brooklyn, Mineo said he was beaten, then pinned to the ground, with one cop pressing his knee against Mineo's neck and another, identified by police sources as Officer Alex Cruz, violating him with a police radio.
A grand jury panel began meeting Tuesday and is expected to spend up to a month investigating the allegation and determining if the officers should be indicted.
Early forensic tests on the radio and Cruz's baton were negative, but DNA tests are pending.
Mineo, his lawyers said yesterday, at first described to Internal Affairs and the Brooklyn district attorney's office an attack carried out by five officers.
But the grand jury is focusing on the four officers, all from the 71st Precinct, who were part of the chase.
The fifth officer, who works for the Transit Bureau, is considered a witness because he got to the platform as the other officers were subduing Mineo, sources say. However, he is weighing a deal with prosecutors out of concern the evidence may point toward his own culpability.
Of the eight or so civilian witnesses, however, none say they saw Mineo sodomized. Two of those witnesses were cited by police last Thursday, when word of the Oct. 15 incident leaked out, as evidence that the officers did nothing wrong.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NYPD puts 4 accused in assault case on modified duty

By Rocco Parascandola
Newsday

NEW YORK - The NYPD yesterday took away the guns and badges of the four Brooklyn police officers under investigation for allegedly beating and sodomizing a marijuana suspect on a subway platform near Prospect Park, police said yesterday.
Their assignment to modified duty that includes desk jobs is considered significant because the department had kept the officers, all from the 71st Precinct, on full duty since the suspect, Michael Mineo, 24, made his claim nearly three weeks ago.
Police had said two civilian witnesses told Internal Affairs investigators they did not see anyone violate Mineo.
In recent days, however, a fifth officer, who works in transit and is considered a witness in the case, has moved toward entering into a cooperation agreement with the Brooklyn attorney's office as it continues presenting evidence to an investigative grand jury.
Law enforcement sources briefed on the grand jury investigation say that officer, if he cooperates, will implicate the four others in at least a physical assault. The sources say that development prompted the NYPD to take action against the four.
Mineo, sources say, has identified Officer Alex Cruz as the one who sodomized him with a police radio, though DNA tests are being performed on Cruz's radio and baton.
Lawyers for Cruz and the other officers either couldn't be reached for comment, or said they had no comment.
Kevin Mosly, one of Mineo's lawyers, said yesterday the department's move is a sign it realizes the officers committed wrongdoing. "We felt that Michael had presented an extremely compelling case of a heinous crime," he said.
Mineo's lawyers had said the NYPD was sending the wrong message by not placing the officers on modified duty.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fellow officer testifies in NYPD sodomy case

By Murray Weiss and Alex Ginsberg
New York Post

NEW YORK - In stunning testimony to a grand jury yesterday, a cop said a fellow officer ran a metal baton against the buttocks of a handcuffed man who later claimed he was sodomized, The Post has learned.
It was the first time Officer Richard Kern was identified as the 71st Precinct cop who had touched pot-possession suspect Michael Mineo, 24, with an ASP expandable baton, a law-enforcement source noted.
The testimony corroborated accounts from witnesses at the Prospect Park subway station on Oct. 15 - and provided disturbing detail that lends credibility to Mineo's accusation.
About an hour before the chilling testimony, Mineo gave the grand jury his account.
"At first, I felt like people weren't believing me," he said later. "And, you know, now that things are coming to the light, I feel a little bit more better that I know these cops are going to brought to justice."
The testifying officer - a 26-year-old, two-year transit-unit cop and the son of a retired transit worker - didn't claim to have seen the alleged sodomy.
He recounted that at 1:30 p.m., he saw Mineo running down the stairs with Kern and Officer Alex Cruz of the 71st Precinct in pursuit. Mineo was running right toward him, but then bolted, the cop said.
Familiar with the station, he tried to head him off, but next saw Mineo run out the station gate, where he crashed into another uniformed cop. Together, he testified, the cops struggled with Mineo and placed him on the floor on his stomach.
"Why are you arresting me - I'm not doing anything!" the cop quoted Mineo as screaming.
The cop testified that as the officers were about to lift up the cuffed Mineo, whose low-riding jeans exposed his underwear, he saw Kern place the 8-inch metal baton against Mineo's left side and run it from left to right across his buttocks.
The witness said he then heard Mineo scream, "Why did you shove an antenna up my ass?" as cops hauled him to his feet.
Kern, the witness testified, quickly declared, "This guy is an EDP" - cop parlance for emotionally disturbed person.
Later, the officer testified, he learned the cops were only going to "96 him" - meaning Mineo would merely be given a summons for disorderly conduct.
As The Post reported, Mineo's underwear was bloody and there was a half-inch by half-inch tear in them - and the cops allegedly warned Mineo that if he complained, the charges would be upgraded to a felony.
Mineo sustained an internal rectal injury.
A week later, when the story surfaced, the cooperating officer realized the significance of what he may have witnessed and came forward, a source said.
Efforts to reach Kern were not successful.
Kern was the focus of lawsuits accusing him of brutality in a 2007 arrest, a source said. The suits were settled.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
NYPD officers indicted in subway assault

By Daniel Edward Rosen
Newsday

NEW YORK - A New York City police officer accused of sodomizing a Brooklyn man with a police baton on a subway platform will be indicted on charges of aggravated assault tomorrow, according to the accuser's attorney.
Stephen C. Jackson, representing Michael Mineo, 24, said in a telephone interview yesterday that a Brooklyn grand jury has voted to indict Police Officer Richard Kern, 25, on charges of aggravated assault.
At least two of the three other officers involved in the Oct. 15 incident - Noel Jugraj, 30, Andrew Morales, 26, and Alex Cruz, 26 - will be indicted on lesser charges, Jackson said.
Another lawyer involved in the case, who asked not to be named, said Jugraj is not expected to be charged. Kern, Cruz and Morales could not be reached.
The indictment is expected to be unsealed tomorrow, Jackson said. A spokesperson for the Brooklyn district attorney's office declined to comment.
Mineo accused the four officers of pinning him down and sodomizing him with what he initially thought was a radio antenna when they caught him after a short chase. He had fled when they approached him because he was smoking marijuana outside the Prospect Park station.
Officer Kevin Maloney of the transit police reportedly told the grand jury that he saw Kern poke Mineo's exposed buttocks with a police baton. Maloney is not facing charges.
Mineo called in to the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio address at the Action Network News headquarters in Harlem yesterday. "I am pleased about the news and I thank the officer for coming forward," he said, "as well as the community and Reverend Sharpton for believing me when many questioned whether I was telling the truth."
No one answered the door at Jugraj's Valley Stream house. A woman who answered the door at Maloney's house in Massapequa yesterday said he didn't want to talk.
One attorney involved in the case who didn't want to be identified said yesterday that Kern may have been told to surrender tomorrow.

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