NYPD White Castle Lawsuit - [PDF Document] (2024)

  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK-----------------------------------------------------------------x

    COMPLAINT

    Jury Trial Demanded

    KENNETH GLOVER and DANNY MAISONETT,

    Plaintiff,

    -against-

    CITY OF NEW YORK; Police Officer MICHAEL WALSH, Tax No. 945089;Police Officer MIKE IZZO, Tax No. 936800; Police Officer JERMAINETAYLOR, Tax No. 937613; Police Officer GAET JEANS DOXY, Tax No.936518; Police Officer ANASARI KALIL, Tax No. 937096; SergeantDIANA PICHARDO, Tax No. 930958; Police Officer ANGELO PIZZARRO,Shield No. 29275; and JOHN and JANE DOE 1 through 10, individuallyand in their official capacities (the names John and Jane Doe beingfictitious, as the true names are presently unknown),

    Defendants.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------x

    NATURE OF THE ACTION

    1. This is an action to recover money damages arising out of theviolation

    of plaintiffs rights under the Constitution.

    JURISDICTION AND VENUE

    2. This action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988,and the

    Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of theUnited States.

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  • 3. The jurisdiction of this Court is predicated upon 28 U.S.C.1331, 1343

    and 1367(a).

    4. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391(b) and (c).

    5. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the New YorkState

    claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1367.

    JURY DEMAND

    6. Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 1.6(a) and Rule 50.3.1 of theGuidelines for

    the Division of Business Among District Judges of the EasternDistrict, plaintiff

    respectfully informs the Court that this case is related to thepending civil actions Diaz

    v. City of New York, et al., 13 CV 6377 (PKC)(VMS).

    7. The case arises from the same transaction, a mass arrest onOctober 31,

    2012, of 16 men in the vicinity of a Key Foods Supermarket inConey Island,

    Brooklyn, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

    8. Plaintiffs and Mr. Diaz were arrested at the same time andplace by the

    same defendant police officers and suffered similar damages. Inpolice and

    prosecution paperwork, they were each alleged to have acted inconcert during the

    commission of the crime, described as apprehended other.

    9. The party and non-party witnesses in both cases willoverlap.

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  • JURY DEMAND

    10. Plaintiffs demand a trial by jury in this action.

    PARTIES

    11. Plaintiffs KENNETH GLOVER and DANNY MAISONETT

    (plaintiffs or Mr. GLOVER and Mr. MAISONETT) are residents ofKings

    County in the City and State of New York.

    12. Defendant City of New York is a municipal corporationorganized under

    the laws of the State of New York. It operates the NYPD, adepartment or agency of

    defendant City of New York responsible for the appointment,training, supervision,

    promotion and discipline of police officers and supervisorypolice officers, including

    the individually named defendants herein.

    13. Defendants Police Officer MICHAEL WALSH, Tax No. 945089;Police

    Officer MIKE IZZO, Tax No. 936800; Police Officer JERMAINETAYLOR, Tax

    No. 937613; Police Officer GAET JEANS DOXY, Tax No. 936518;Police Officer

    ANASARI KALIL, Tax No. 937096; Sergeant DIANA PICHARDO, TaxNo.

    930958; Police Officer ANGELO PIZZARRO, Shield No. 29275, at alltimes

    relevant herein, were/are officers, employees and agents of theNYPD. Defendants

    WALSH, IZZO, TAYLOR, DOXY, KALIL, PICHARDO, and PIZZARRO,are

    sued in their individual and official capacities.

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  • 14. At all times relevant defendants John and Jane Doe 1 through10 were

    police officers, detectives or supervisors employed by the NYPD.Plaintiff does not

    know the real names and shield numbers of defendants John andJane Doe 1 through

    10.

    15. At all times relevant herein, defendants John and Jane Doe 1through 10

    were acting as agents, servants and employees of defendant Cityof New York and the

    NYPD. Defendants John and Jane Doe 1 through 10 are sued intheir individual and

    official capacities.

    16. At all times relevant herein, all individual defendants wereacting under

    color of state law.

    STATEMENT OF FACTS

    17. At approximately 11:58 p.m. on October 31, 2012, plaintiffswere

    lawfully within the vicinity of 2750 West 33rd, Brooklyn,NY.

    18. Plaintiffs had just gotten out of a cab at theabove-location. They were

    returning from White Castle Restaurant.

    19. Several New York City Police Officers approached them. Oneof the

    officers asked for plaintiffs food. Plaintiffs refused theofficers request.

    20. The officers ordered plaintiffs to get on the ground, andasked them

    what they were doing.

    21. Plaintiff explained that they were getting food.

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  • 22. The officers, including defendants Pizarro, struck plaintiffin the back

    with their knees and flashlights.

    23. Despite the fact that they had no probable cause to believethat he had

    committed any crimes or offenses, defendants, includingdefendant Pizzarro, placed

    plaintiff under arrest.

    24. The officers then transported plaintiff to the 61stprecinct.

    25. At the precinct the officers falsely informed employees ofthe New York

    County District Attorneys Office that they had observedplaintiff commit the

    following crimes and/or offenses: Obstruction of GovernmentalAdministration; and

    Disorderly Conduct.

    26. Approximately two days later, plaintiff was transported fromthe police

    precinct to central booking.

    27. Plaintiffs were subsequently arraigned in Kings CountyCriminal Court.

    28. After several court appearances, all plaintiffs charges wereadjourned in

    contemplation of dismissal.

    29. Plaintiff suffered damage as a result of defendants actions.Plaintiff was

    deprived of his liberty, suffered emotional distress, mentalanguish, fear, pain, bodily

    injury, anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, and damage to hisreputation.

    FIRST CLAIM Unlawful Stop and Search

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  • 30. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation asif fully set forth

    herein.

    31. Defendants violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendmentsbecause

    they stopped and searched plaintiffs without reasonablesuspicion.

    32. As a direct and proximate result of this unlawful conduct,plaintiffs

    sustained the damages herein before alleged.

    SECOND CLAIM False Arrest

    33. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation asif fully set forth

    herein.

    34. Defendants violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendmentsbecause

    they arrested plaintiffs without probable cause.

    35. As a direct and proximate result of this unlawful conduct,Plaintiffs

    sustained the damages hereinbefore alleged.

    THIRD CLAIM Denial Of Constitutional Right To Fair Trial

    36. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation asif fully set forth

    herein.

    37. The individual defendants created false evidence againstPlaintiffs.

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  • 38. Defendants WALSH, PIZZARRO and the DOE Defendantsforwarded

    false evidence to prosecutors in the Kings County DistrictAttorneys office.

    39. In creating false evidence against Plaintiffs, and inforwarding false

    information to prosecutors, the individual defendants violatedPlaintiffs

    constitutional right to a fair trial under the Due ProcessClause of the Fifth and

    Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

    40. As a direct and proximate result of this unlawful conduct,Plaintiffs

    sustained the damages hereinbefore alleged.

    FOURTH CLAIM Malicious Abuse Of Process

    41. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation asif fully set forth

    herein.

    42. The individual defendants issued legal process to placePlaintiffs under

    arrest.

    43. The individual defendants arrested Plaintiffs in order toobtain collateral

    objectives outside the legitimate ends of the legal process, towit, to cover up their

    assault of plaintiffs.

    44. The individual defendants acted with intent to do harm toPlaintiffs

    without excuse or justification.

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  • 45. As a direct and proximate result of this unlawful conduct,Plaintiffs

    sustained the damages hereinbefore alleged.

    FIFTH CLAIM Failure To Intervene

    46. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation asif fully set forth

    herein.

    47. Those defendants that were present but did not activelyparticipate in the

    aforementioned unlawful conduct observed such conduct, had anopportunity prevent

    such conduct, had a duty to intervene and prevent such conductand failed to

    intervene.

    48. Accordingly, the defendants who failed to intervene violatedthe First,

    Fourth, Fifth And Fourteenth Amendments.

    49. As a direct and proximate result of this unlawful conduct,Plaintiffs

    sustained the damages hereinbefore alleged.

    SIXTH CLAIM Unreasonable Force

    50. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation asif fully set forth

    herein.

    51. The defendants violated the Fourth and FourteenthAmendments

    because they used unreasonable force on plaintiffs.

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  • 52. As a direct and proximate result of this unlawful conduct,plaintiffs

    sustained the damages hereinbefore alleged.

    SEVENTH CLAIM Monell Claim

    53. The acts complained of were carried out by theaforementioned

    defendants in their capacities as police officers and officialspursuant to customs,

    policies, usages, practices, procedures and rules of the Cityand NYPD, all under the

    supervision of ranking officers of the NYPD.

    54. The aforementioned customs, practices, procedures and rulesof the City

    and NYPD include, but are not limited to: 1) arresting personsknown to be innocent

    in order to meet productivity goals; 2) falsely swearing outcriminal complaints

    and/or lying and committing perjury during sworn testimony toprotect other officers

    and meet productivity goals; 3) failing to supervise, train,instruct and discipline police

    officers thereby encouraging their misconduct and exhibitingdeliberate indifference

    towards the constitutional rights of persons within the officersjurisdiction; 4)

    discouraging police officers from reporting the corrupt orunlawful acts of other

    officers; 5) retaliating against officers who report policemisconduct; and 6) failing to

    intervene to prevent the above-mentioned practices when theyreasonably could have

    been prevented with proper supervision.

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  • 55. At the time of the aforementioned constitutional violations,the City and

    NYPD were and had been on notice of such unconstitutionalconduct, customs, and

    de facto policies, such that the failure of the City and NYPD totake appropriate

    remedial action amounted to deliberate indifference to theconstitutional rights of

    persons with whom the police come in contact. In light of theextensive pattern of

    well-settled, pervasive customs and policies causingconstitutional violations,

    documented in part infra, the need for more effectivesupervision and other remedial

    measures was patently obvious, but the City and NYPD made nomeaningful attempt

    to prevent future constitutional violations.

    56. The existence of aforesaid unconstitutional customs andpolicies may be

    inferred from repeated occurrences of similar wrongful conduct,as documented

    by the following civil rights actions and parallel prosecutionsof police officers:

    a. Schoolcraft v. City of New York, 10-CV-6005 (RWS)(S.D.N.Y)(police officer who exposed a precincts polices andpractices of illegal quotas for the issuance of summonses andarrests, falsifying evidence and suborning perjury alleges he wasarrested and committed to a psychiatric facility in retaliation forexposing these practices and customs);

    b. Long v. City of New York, 09-CV-6099 (AJK)(S.D.N.Y); Peoplev. Pagan, 6416-2008 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co.)(officer swears out a falsecomplaint and is convicted of falsifying police records);

    c. Taylor-Mickens v. City of New York, 09-CV-7923(RWS)(S.D.N.Y)(police officers at 24th precinct issue foursummonses to a woman in retaliation for her lodging a complaintwith the Civilian Complaint review Board against the precinct);

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  • d. Lin v. City of New York, 10-CV-1936 (PGG) (S.D.N.Y) (officersarrest a person lawfully photographing an arrest of a bicyclist inTimes Square and swear out criminal complaints that arecontradicted by video evidence);

    e. Colon v. City of New York, 9-CV-0008 (JBW)(E.D.N.Y) (in anOrder dated November 29, 2009 denying the Citys motion to dismisson Iqbal/Twombley grounds, wherein the police officers at issuedwere and prosecuted for falsifying evidence, the Honorable Jack B.Weinstein wrote:

    Informal inquiry by the court and among the judges of thiscourt, as well as knowledge of cases in other federal and statecourts, has revealed anecdotal evidence of repeated, widespreadfalsification by arresting police officers of the New York CityPolice Department. Despite numerous inquiries by commissions andstrong reported efforts by the present administrationthroughselection of candidates for the police force stressing academic andother qualifications, serious training to avoid constitutionalviolations, and strong disciplinary action within thedepartmentthere is some evidence of an attitude among officers thatis sufficiently widespread to constitute a custom or policy by thecity approving illegal conduct of the kind now charged.

    f. People v. Arbeedy, 6314-2008 (Sup. Ct. Kings Co.) (NYPDnarcotics detective found guilty planting drugs on two innocentcivilians; former undercover NYPD narcotics officer, SteveAnderson, testified that fellow narcotics officers routinelymaintained a stash of narcotics to plant on innocent civilians inorder to help those officers meet arrest quotas; Mr. Andersontestified concerning the NYPDs practice of attaching bodies to thenarcotics to make baseless arrests stating: It was something I wasseeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers andeven investigators. Seeing it so much, its almost like you have noemotion with

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  • it. The mentality was that they attach bodies to it, theyregoing to be out of jail tomorrow anyway, nothing is going to happento them anyway. That kind of came to me and I accepted it beingaround so long, and being an undercover; The presiding judge,Justice Reichbach, stated Having been a judge for 20 years, Ithought I was not nave regarding the reality of narcoticsenforcement. But even the Court was shocked, not only by theseeming pervasive scope of the misconduct, but even moredistressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct isemployed.);

    g. Bryant v. City of New York, 22011/2007 (Sup. Ct. KingsCo.)(Jury declares that NYPD officers acted pursuant to a Citypolicy regarding the number of arrests officers were expected tomake that violated plaintiffs constitutional rights and contributedto her arrest);

    h. Williams v. City of New York, 06-CV-6601 (NGG)(E.D.N.Y.)(officers arrest plaintiff during a vertical patrol of apublic housing project despite evidence that he had a legitimatereason to be on premises);

    i. MacNamara v. City of New York, 04-CV-9216(RJS)(JCF) (S.D.N.Y)(evidence of perjured sworn statements systematically provided byofficers to attempt to cover up or justify unlawful mass arrests ofapproximately 1800 people has been and continues to be developed inthe consolidated litigation arising out of the 2004 RepublicanNational Convention);

    j. McMillan v. City of New York, 04-cv-3990 (FB)(RML)(E.D.N.Y.)(officers fabricated evidence against an African-Americanman in Kings County and initiated drug charges against him, despitean absence of an quantum of suspicion);

    k. Avent v. City of New York, 04-CV-2451 (CBA) (CL)(E.D.N.Y.)(same);

    l. Smith v. City of New York, 04-CV-1045 (RLM) (E.D.N.Y.)(same);

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  • m. Powers v. City of New York, 04-CV-2246 (NGG)(E.D.N.Y.)(police officer alleges unlawful retaliation by otherpolice officers after testifying about corruption in the NYPD);

    n. Nonneman v. City of New York, 04-CV-10131 (JSR)(AJP)(S.D.N.Y.)(former NYPD lieutenant alleging retaliatory demotion andearly retirement after reporting a fellow officer to IAB and CCRBfor the officers suspicionless, racially-motivated stop-and-friskof a group of Hispanic youths);

    o. Richardson v. City of New York, 02-CV-3651 (JG)(CLP)(E.D.N.Y.)(officers fabricated evidence including knowingly falsesworn complaints, against an African-American man in Kings Countyand initiated drug charges against him, despite an absence of anyquantum of suspicion);

    p. Barry v. City of New York, 01-CV-10627 (CBM)(S.D.N.Y.)(triable issue of fact where NYPD sergeant allegedretaliatory demotion and disciplinary charges in response tosergeants allegations of corruption within her unit and alleged theNYPD had an unwritten but persuasive custom of punishing officerswho speak out about police misconduct and encouraging, if notfacilitating, silence among officers);

    q. White-Ruiz v. City of New York, 93-CV-7233 (DLC) (MHD), 983F.Supp. 365, 380 (S.D.N.Y., 1997)(holding that the NYPD had anunwritten policy or practice of encouraging or at least toleratinga pattern of harassment directed at officers who exposed instancesof police corruption); and

    r. Ariza v. City of New York, 93-CV-5287 (CPS), 1996 U.S. Dist.Lexis 20250 at 14(E.D.N.Y.)(police officer alleges retaliatory dutyassignments and harassment in response to his allegations about aracially-discriminatory workplace; on motion for summary judgment,the Court held that the police officer had established proof ofboth a widespread usage of policy to regulate against policeofficers who exposed police misconduct and a failure to train inthe police department).

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  • 57. The existence of the aforesaid unconstitutional customs andpractices,

    specifically with regard to the practice or custom of officerslying under oath,

    falsely swearing out criminal complaints or otherwise falsifyingor fabricating

    evidence, are further evidenced, inter alia, by thefollowing:

    a. The Mollen Commission concluded that police perjury andfalsification of official records is probably the most common formof police corruption facing the criminal justice system. Itconcluded:

    Regardless of the motives behind police falsifications, what isparticularly troublesome about this practice is that it is widelytolerated by corrupt and honest officers alike, as well as theirsuperiors. Corrupt and honest officers told us that theirsupervisors knew or should have known about falsified versions ofsearches and arrests and never questioned them.1

    {}

    What breeds this tolerance is deep-rooted perception among manyofficers of all ranks within the Department that there is nothingreally wrong with compromising the facts to fight crime in the realworld. Simply put, despite devastating consequences of policefalsifications, there is a persistent belief among officers that itis necessary and justified, even if it is unlawful. As onededicated officer put it, police officers often view falsificationas, to use his words, doing Gods work doing whatever it takes toget the suspected criminal off the streets. This is so entrenched,especially in high-crime precincts, that when investigatorsconfronted one recently arrested officer with evidence of perjury,he asked in disbelief, Whats wrong with that? Theyre guilty.2

    b. In June 2011, in the case in New York County Supreme Courtentitled People v. William Eiserman (Ind. No. 2999-2010), NYPDSergeant William Eiseman pled guilty to perjury and falsifyingpolice records,

    1 Mollen Commision report, p.36 2 Mollen Commission Report, pp40-41.

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  • admit[ing] to faking a marijuana case against one man andcocaine-related charges against another and training Velasquez[officers] to falsify paperwork to sidestep legal safeguards.Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan commented that Sgt. Eisenmansadmissions paint a picture of a police officer who has challengedand undermined the integrity of the entire system we havehere.3

    c. In late 2009, a former NYPD officer in the Bronx, PedroCorniel, was charged with perjury for claiming to have caught aburglar red-handed when, in fact, two other officers had made thearrest and handed the arrest off to Corniel. The suspect wasreleased.4 Moreover,

    Prosecutors and NYPD Internal Affairs probers have identified asmany as two dozen cases in the past year in which cops allegedlymade false statements involving routine arrests when the truthwould have served them just as well.

    That is a significant increase over previous years, sourcessaid. In the past, wed find this happening once or twice a year,and now there are a bunch of them, said one law-enforcementofficial.

    What has authorities particularly troubled is that officershistorically lied to cover up more serious corruption, such as thecadre of Brooklyn narcotics cops caught stealing drugs from dealersand masking their thievery by filing false reports about what theyhad seized.

    But internal probers are now finding that officers appearwilling to take insidious shortcuts and lie on arrest reports whenthey are processing even routine collars, such as grand larceny,burglaries and robberies, sources told The Post.

    3 Melissa Grace, NYPD Sgt. William Eiseman Pleads Guilty toLying Under Oath in Plea Deal, Daily News, June 27, 2011, availableathttp://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/nypd-sgt-william-eiseman-pleads-guilty-lying-oath-plea-deal-article-1.1292884 Murray Weiss, NYPD in a Liar Storm, N.Y. Post, Oct. 26, 2009available athttp://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/nypd_in_a_liar_storm_qazMBEm3UNJVogv4Ndeqcl.

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  • Their reasons could range from trying to cut down on paperworkto being lazy when filing arrest and incident reports.5

    d. In 2007, former NYPD Officer Dennis Kim admitted to acceptingmoney and sexual favors from the proprietor of a brothel in QueensCounty in exchange for protecting that brothel. Mr. Kim wasconvicted of those offenses. The 109th precinct of the NYPD, whichused to be under Mr. Kims command, is also under investigation bythe United States Attorneys Office for planting drugs on suspectsand stealing cash during gambling raids. The 109th precinct isbelieved to be involved in a practice known as flaking whereinpolice officers plant drugs on suspects in order to bringlegitimacy to the arrest. According to the Assistant United StatesAttorney Monica Evans, members of the 109th Precinct maintained asmall stash of drugs in an Altoids tin for this purpose.6

    e. In December 2009, two officers from the 81st Precinct inBrooklyn arrested and falsely swore out charges against anundercover officer from Internal Affairs Bureau. As explained inthe New York Post:

    The officers were snared in a sting by Internal Affairs inDecember when they were told to keep an eye out for people sellinguntaxed cigarettes in their precinct.

    Sometime later, they saw a man hanging out on a corner in theneighborhood and found that he was carrying packs of knock-offsmokes.

    [Sgt. Raymond] Stukes, 45, and [Officer Hector] Tirado, 30cuffed him, but they claimed that they had seen him selling thebogus butts to two people, according to sources.

    Little did the hapless cops know that the man in their custodywas an undercover corruption investigator and that the wholeincident was caught on video.

    5 Id. 6 John Marzulli, Claims of Corruption in Queens PrecinctPut precinct Crooked Cop's Sentencing on Hold, N.Y. Daily News,June 20, 2008, available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/claims-corruption-queens-precinct-put-crooked-sentencing-hold-article-1.296352.

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  • To complete ruse, the undercover cop was processed at thestation house so as not to tip off Stukes and Tirado about thesting

    [P]olice sources said [this action] stem[s] from precinctcommanders caving to the pressure of top brass to make themselveslook better.

    Theres pressure on the cops from the bosses and theyre gettingpressured from headquarters, a police source told The Post.

    The officers were indicted for felony perjury, filing a falsereport and filing a false instrument.7

    f. In early 2010, the City settled a civil rights lawsuitwherein one Officer Sean. Spence falsely arrested and accused a41-year-old grandmother of prostitution, promising to pay the woman$35,000. In Court documents, Caroline Chen, the attorneyrepresenting the City in the case, admitted: "Officer Spencerfalsely reported to the assistant district attorney that he saw[the plaintiff] beckon to three male passersby and that he wasaware that plaintiff was previously arrested for [prostitution]when the plaintiff had never been arrested for this offense.8

    g. Separate grand jury investigations into drug-related policecorruption in the Bronx; and Manhattan revealed that more than adozen officers had been breaking into drug dealers apartments,stealing and then selling their drugs and perjuring themselves byfiling false arrest reports. District attorneys and theirassistants interviewed during a four-month investigation by NewYork Newsday said they believe those two grand jury investigations- in the 4 6 t h Precinct in the University Heights section of theBronx and the 34th Precinct- are not isolated instances. They saythe investigations reflect a larger,

    7 Id. 8 John Marzulli, Brooklyn cops charged with barging intosting operation, arresting a fellow officer, N.Y. Daily News July30, 2010, available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/ny_loca1120l0/07/30/2010-07-30_brooklyn_cops_charged_with_barging_into_sting_operation_arresting_a_fellow_offic.html.

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  • broader problem w i t h i n the NYPD that its top officials seemunable or unwilling to acknowledge.9

    58. Furthermore, the existence of the aforesaid unconstitutionalcustoms

    and policies, specifically with regard to "productivity goals,"may be further inferred

    from the following:

    a. Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne has repeatedly admittedthat NYPD commanders are permitted to set "productivitygoals."10

    b. An NYPD transit lieutenant was captured on tape tellingofficers to make more arrests to meet a captain's order and do morework if they want overtime assignments. "All they care about is ...summonses and arrests and 250s," Lt. Janice Williams said, usingpolice jargon for the NYPD Stop, Question and Frisk reports. Sheadded, "'The bottom line is everybody's individual activity isbeing looked at.'' Later in the recording made during a roll callin 2010 at Transit District 34 in Coney Island - she said onlyofficers with "good productivity" will get the opportunity to workovertime. She also said Capt. James Sheerin wanted every officer tomake at least one arrest per month - up from the previous order ofone every three months - because crime had spiked and arrest totalswere lower than other transit districts. "He wants everyone to getin the mindset that there's no more collar a quarter," Williamssaid.11

    c. NYPD Officer Adil Polanco has asserted that his command, the41st Precinct, regularly requires officers to make at least "onearrest and twenty summonses per month. P.O. Polanco's allegationswere confirmed by an audiotape obtained by the media. The contentsof the tape reveal that these quotas are enforced through coercionand threats of job loss; to wit, a patrol supervisor at the 41stPrecinct is overheard saying: "If you think one and 20 is breakingyour balls, guess what you'll

    10 Jim Hoffer NYPD Officer claims pressure to make arrestsWABCTV Eyewitness News, March 22010, available athttp:J/abclocal.go.com/Wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=73053S6("Police Officers like others who receive compensation are providedproductivity goals and they are expected to work").

    11 Rocco Parascandola, NYPD Lt. Janice Williams captured on tapepushing for more busts but brass says there's no quotas, N.Y. DailyNews, March 3, 2011.

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  • be doing. You're gong (sic) to be doing a lot more, a lot morethan what they're saying." The tape also reveals that anotherpatrol supervisor chimed in and told the officers: "next week, 25and one, 35 and one, and until you decide to quit this job and goto work at Pizza Hut, this is what you're going to be doing till(sic) then."12

    d. The New York Daily News obtained and published two internalmemos which were posted inside the roll-call room at the NYPD's77th Precinct. The memos specifically instructed officers about the"number of tickets to give drivers for cell phone, seat belt,double-parking, bus stop, tinted windows and truck routeviolations" that they were expected to issue. The memos remainedposted for several weeks inside the roll-call room until the mediabegan inquiring. 13

    e. Responding to a query from a civilian who was cited onconsecutive days in November of 2009 for allegedly occupying morethan one seat on the New York City subway, the officer responded:''Recently we've been told to write tickets instead of givewarnings for this type of thing." The officer explained that theyneeded to meet quotas. 14

    f. In December of 2010 and in response to the pressure fromtheir supervisors to issue baseless summonses pursuant to thepolicy and practice of quotas, police officers at the 79th Precinctconsidered organizing a so-called "daylong summons boycott. As oneofficer at the precinct explained, "Nobody feels this is right,asking us to write summonses just to meet a quota."15

    g. In response to the planned summons-boycott at the 79thPrecinct on December 13, 2010, Deputy Chief Michael Marino marchedinto the precinct at roll call with a deputy inspector and readofficers the riot act. "Just try it," a police source quoted Marinoas saying. "I'll come down here and make sure you write them."Marino also vowed to transfer people, like he did when he was thecommanding officer of the 75th Precinct in East New York.16

    12 Id. 13 James Fanelli, Cops at Brooklyns crime-ridden 77thPrecinct told to meet quotas for moving violations, memos say, N.Y.Daily News, Nov. 8, 2010. 14 Tom Namako and Kirsten Fleming,Nightime Riders in Big Sit Fit, The New York Post. Decembcr 26,2009, available athttp://www.nypost.com/p/news/11/space_hogs_lapped_on_empty_subways.15 Rocco Parascandola, Irate cops at the 79th Precinct inBedford-Stuyvesant threaten boycott over quotas, N.Y. Daily News,Dec. 12, 2010, available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/news/12_bklyn_cops_threaten_tixwriting_boycott.16 Rocco Parascandola, Deputy Chief Michael Marino threatens copsat the 79'h Precinct who want to go on summons strike, N.Y. DailyNews, Dec. 15,2010, available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/12/15/2010-12-15_summons_strike_i_dare_ya_deputy.html.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 19 of28 PageID #: 19

  • h. Capt. Alex Perez, the second in command at the NYPD's 8151Precinct, testified in a civil matter before a Brooklyn SupremeCourt jury that officers are likely to get poor performance ratingsif they have few arrests, conceding that that arrest numbers are afactor in evaluating an officer's performance.17 Ultimately, thejury in that case judged that the police and a policy "regardingthe number of arrests officers were to make that violatedplaintiffs constitutional rights and contributed to herarrest."18

    i. The New York City Office of Collective Bargaining concludedthat officers in Brooklyn's 75th Precinct were required to issuefour parking tickets, three moving violation citations; three"quality-of-life" summonses, make one arrest and twostop-and-frisks each month. Arbitrator Bonnie Siber Weinstock ruledthat the NYPD maintained an illegal "summons quota for trafficviolations in the precinct and by penalizing officers for failingto meet the stated number of traffic citations. She ordered thecity to cease and desist from the practice.19

    j. Kieran Creighton, commander of the NYPD Housing PoliceService Area 8 in the northern Bronx, was investigated for orderingofficers to make a certain number of arrests each month. Accordingto The New York Daily News:

    The incident allegedly occurred in the spring when Creightonordered at least eight members of an undercover anti-crime team toa meeting in Pelham Bay Park to berate them about an alleged lackof arrests, sources said.

    'You can't make the nine collars a month, then we'll all have togo our separate ways,'' Creighton told the officers, according toan internal complaint obtained by The News. Anything less than ninearrests would be a ''personal slap in the face," Creightonallegedly said.

    17 William J. Gorta, Brooklyn Mom's Suit. Targets NYPD ArrestQuotas, N.Y. Post, Feb. 15,.2011, at 6, available on Westlaw at2011 WLNR 2986205; see also Oren Yaniv, Capt. Links Arrests,Evaluation of Cops, N.Y. Daily News, Feb. l5, 2011, at 20, alsoavailable on Westlaw at 20 WLNR 2986205. 18 Oren Yaniv, Court rulesthat cops do use quotas; woman injured in 2006 arrest settles for$75,000, N.Y. Daily News. Feb. 19, 2011; available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/201 J/02119/2011-02. 19New York City Ticket Quota Confirmed, Denied, The Newspaper.Com,January 21, 2006, available athttp://www.thenewspaper.com/news/09/914.asp; see also, KirstenCole. NYPD's Bogus Little Secret: Parking ticket Quotas- AgentsOften Caught Citing You For Violations You Didn't Commit;WCBSTV.com, August 14, 2007, available athttp://wcbstv.com/topstories/parking.ticket.blitz.2.246533.html.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 20 of28 PageID #: 20

  • Creighton then told the cops to finagle the times of arrests soany overtime was paid for by a federally funded anti-drug program,the complaint states.

    Unbeknownst to Creighton, one officer had his NYPD radioswitched on so the captain's 10 to 12 minute speech was broadcastto Bronx precincts in Morrisania and Schuylerville and taped by the911 dispatcher.20

    59. The existence of the aforesaid unconstitutional customs andpractices,

    specifically with regard to the failure to supervise, train,instruct, and discipline

    police officers, encouraging their misconduct, and exhibitingdeliberate

    indifference towards the constitutional rights of persons withwhom officers

    come into contact are further evidenced, inter alia, by thefollowing:

    a. With respect to Fourth Amendment violations, in Ligon v. Cityof New York, 2013 WL 628534 (Feb. 14, 2013), Judge Scheindlin foundthat plaintiffs challenging allegedly unconstitutional policies andpractices of the NYPD had shown a clear likelihood of provingdeliberate indifference under any of the prevailing ways of framingthat standard, including failure to train and constructiveacquiescence.21 Judge Scheindlin specifically rejected the NYPDsargument that broad, general remedial measures taken in 2012, suchas an instructional video on stop and frisk, was meaningful actionrebutting a finding of deliberate indifference.

    b. The Report of the Commission to Investigate Allegations ofPolice Corruption and the Anti-Corruption Procedures of the PoliceDepartment ("Mollen Commission Report"), dated July 7, 1994,states:

    In the face of this problem [of corruption], the [NYPD] allowedits systems for fighting corruption virtually to collapse. It hasbecome more concerned about the bad publicity that corruptiondisclosures generate than the devastating consequences ofcorruption itself. As a

    20 Allison Gendar NYPD captain allegedly caught in arrest quotafixing, The New York Daily News, November 14, 2007, available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2007/11/14/214_nypd_captain_allegedly_caught_in_arrest. 21 Id. at *34.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 21 of28 PageID #: 21

  • result, its corruption control ignored and at times concealedcorruption rather than root it out. Such an institutionalreluctance to uncover corruption is not surprising. No institutionwants its reputations tainted - especially a Department that needsthe public's confidence and partnership to be effective. A weak andpoorly resourced anti-corruption apparatus minimizes the likelihoodof such taint, embarrassment and potential harm to careers. Thusthere is a strong institutional incentive to allow corruptionefforts to fray and lose priority - which is exactly what theCommission uncovered. This reluctance manifested itself in everycomponent of the Department's corruption controls from commandaccountability and supervision, to investigations, police culture,training and recruitment. For at least the past decade, the systemdesigned to protect the Department from corruption minimized thelikelihood of uncovering it.22

    c. Accordingly, in 1990, the Office of the Special Prosecutor,which

    investigated charges of police corruption, was abolished.

    d. In response to the Honorable Judge Weinstein's ruling ofNovember 25, 2009 in Colon v. City of New York, 09-CV-00008(E.D.N.Y.), in which he noticed a "widespread custom or policy bythe city approving illegal conduct'' such as lying under oath andfalse swearing, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly acknowledged, "Whenit happens, it's not for personal gain. It's more forconvenience."23

    e. In a recent instance, NYPD officer Lieutenant Daniel Sbarrawas involved in 15 suits against the city resulting to date in over$1.5 million in settlement payments, was the target of 5-10Internal Affairs investigations, and was the subject of at least 30complaints filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Not onlyhave Commissioner Kelly and the NYPD failed to meaningfullydiscipline or control officer Sbarra they promoted him to the rankof Lieutenant four months after he lost 20 days of vacation uponpleading guilty to Internal Affairs charges relating to anunconstitutional search. This shows, at best, deliberateindifference towards the constitutional rights of citizens withwhom Sbarra comes into contact, and further demonstrates tacit

    22 Mollen Commission Report, pp. 2-3, available athttp://www.parc.info/client_files/Special%20Reports/4%20-%20Mollen%20Commissiono/%20-%20NYPD.pdf.23 Loren Yaniv and John Marzuli, Kelly Shrugs Off Judge Who SlammedCops, New York Daily News, December 2, 2009, available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/police-commissioner-kelly-shrugs-judge-slammed-cops-article-1.433710.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 22 of28 PageID #: 22

  • approval, condonement, and/or encouragement of unconstitutionalpolicies, customs, and practices.24

    f. Regarding defendant City's tacit condonement and failure tosupervise, discipline or provide remedial training when officersengage in excessive force, the Civilian Complaint Review Board is aCity agency, allegedly independent of the NYPD, that is responsiblefor investigating and issuing findings on complaints of policeabuse and misconduct.25 When it does, however, Commissioner Kellycontrols whether the NYPD pursues the matter and he alone has theauthority to impose discipline on the subject officer(s). Since2005, during Kelly's tenure, only one quarter of officers whom theCCRB found engaged in misconduct received punishment more severethan verbal ''instructions." Moreover, the number ofCCRB-substantiated cases that the NYPD has simply dropped (i.e.,closed without action or discipline) has spiked from less than 4%each year between 2002 and 2006, to 35% in 2007, and approximately30% in 2008. Alarmingly, the NYPD has refused to prosecute 40% ofthe cases sent to it by the CCRB in 2009.26 As a result, thepercentage of cases where the CCRB found misconduct but where thesubject officers were given only verbal instructions or the matterwas simply dropped by he NYPD rose to 66% in 2007. Substantiatedcomplaints of excessive force against civilians accounted for morethan 10% of the cases that the NYPD dropped in 2007 and account formore than 25% of cases dropped in 2008.27

    60. The existence of the aforesaid unconstitutional customs andpractices,

    specifically with regard to the practice or custom ofdiscouraging police

    officers from reporting the corrupt or unlawful practices ofother police officers 24 Rocco Parascandola et al, Repeated Chargesof Illegal Searches, Violence, Racial Profiling, Racial Slurs andIntimidation Against Lt. Daniel Sbarra and his Team Have Cost theCity More Than $1.5 Million in Settlements, N.Y. Daily News, May19, 2013, available athttp://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/lt-daniel-sbarra-team-finest-article-1.1348075.25 In 2006, out of more than 10.000 allegations that were fullyinvestigated, the CCRB substantiated only 594 (about 6%). In 2007,out of more than 11,000 allegations that were fully investigatedthe CCRB substantiated only (about 5%). See, CCRB Jan.-Dec. 2007status Report at p. 19, available athttp://www.nyc.gov/html/ccrb/pdf/ccrbann2007_A.pdf. Uponinformation and belief, the low rate of substantiated complaints isdue in part to the above-noted de facto policy and/or well-settledand widespread custom and practice in the NYPD whereby officersrefuse to report other officers' misconduct or tell false and/orincomplete stories inter alia sworn testimony and statements givento the CCRB, to cover-up civil rights violations perpetrate bythemselves or fellow officers, supervisors and/or subordinates. 26Christine Hauser, Few Results for Reports of Police Misconduct, NewYork Times, October 5, 2009 at A19. 27 Daily News, Editorial: CityLeaders Must Get Serious About Policing the Police, August 20,2008.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 23 of28 PageID #: 23

  • and of retaliating against officers who report misconduct, arefurther evidenced,

    inter alia, by the following:

    a. In a suit filed in 2012, Officer Craig Matthews alleged thathe was systematically retaliated against for speaking to hisprecinct commanders about the pressure that the NYPDs illegal quotasystem placed on officers.28

    b. In Griffin v. City of New York, 880 F. Supp.2d 384 (E.D.N.Y.2012), Judge Dearie denied the citys motion to dismiss retaliationclaims against a former NYPD detective who, after reporting afellow officers misconduct to the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau,found the word rat written multiple times on his locker and facedother repercussions from fellow police officers that hissupervisors failed to address.29

    c. Former New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthauhas been quoted as acknowledging that, in the NYPD, there is a"code of silence," or a "code of protection" that exists amongofficers and that is followed carefully;

    d. In 1985, former NYPD Commissioner Benjamin Ward, testifyingbefore a State Senate Committee, acknowledged the existence of the"code of silence" in the NYPD;

    e. Former NYPD Commissioner Robert Daly wrote in 1991 that the"blue wall of solidarity with its macho mores and prejudices, itscover-ups and silence is reinforced every day in every way."

    61. The existence of the above-described de facto unlawfulpolicies and/or

    well-settled and widespread customs and practices is known to,encouraged and/or

    condoned by supervisory and policy-making officers and officialsof the NYPD and

    the City, including without limitation, Commissioner Kelly.

    28 Al Baker, Bronx Police Precinct Accused of Using QuotaSystem, N.Y. Times, Feb. 24, 2012, available athttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/nyregion/lawsuit-says-bronx-police-precinct-uses-quota-system.html?_r=0.29 Id at 389-92. See also Joseph Goldstein, Officers, Exhorted toReport Corruption, Still Fear Retaliation, N.Y. Times, June 25,2012, available athttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/nyregion/new-york-police-officers-face-retaliation-for-reporting-corruption.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 24 of28 PageID #: 24

  • 62. The actions of Defendants, resulting from and taken pursuantto the

    above-mentioned de facto policies and/or well-settled andwidespread customs and

    practices of the City, are implemented by members of the NYPDengaging in

    systematic and ubiquitous perjury, both oral and written, tocover up federal law

    violations committed against civilians by either themselves ortheir fellow officers,

    supervisors and/or subordinates. They do so with the knowledgeand approval of

    their supervisors, commanders and Commissioner Kelly who all:(i) tacitly accept and

    encourage a code of silence wherein police officers refuse toreport other officers'

    misconduct or tell false and/or incomplete stories, inter alia,in sworn testimony,

    official reports, in statements to the CCRB and the InternalAffairs Bureau ("IAB"),

    and in public statements designed to cover for and/or falselyexonerate accused police

    officers; and (ii) encourage and, in the absence of videoevidence blatantly exposing

    the officers' perjury, fail to discipline officers for''testilying" and/or fabricating false

    evidence to initiate and continue the malicious prosecution ofcivilians in order to

    cover-up civil rights violations perpetrated by themselves,fellow office supervisors

    and/or subordinates against those civilians.

    63. All of the foregoing acts by defendants deprived Plaintiffsof their

    federally protected rights, including, but limited to, theconstitutional rights

    enumerated herein.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 25 of28 PageID #: 25

  • 64. Defendant City knew or should have known that the actsalleged herein

    would deprive Plaintiffs of their rights under the Fourth, Fifthand Fourteenth

    Amendments to the United States Constitution.

    65. Defendant City is directly liable and responsible for theacts of

    Defendants, as it repeatedly and knowingly failed to properlysupervise, train, instruct,

    and discipline them and because it repeatedly and knowinglyfailed to enforce the

    rules and regulations of the City and NYPD, and to requirecompliance with the

    Constitution and laws of the United States.

    66. Despite knowledge of such unlawful de facto policies,practices, and/or

    customs, these supervisory and policy-making officers andofficials of the NYPD and

    the City, including Commissioner Kelly, have not taken steps toterminate these

    policies, practices and/or customs, do not disciplineindividuals who engage in such

    polices, practices and/or customs, or otherwise properly trainpolice officers with

    regard to the constitutional and statutory limits on theexercise of their authority, and

    instead approve and ratify these policies, practices and/orcustoms through their

    active encouragement of, deliberate indifference to and/orreckless disregard of the

    effects of said policies, practices and/or customs or theconstitutional rights of

    persons in the City of New York.

    67. The aforementioned City policies, practices and/or customsof failing to

    supervise, train, instruct and discipline police officers andencouraging their

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 26 of28 PageID #: 26

  • misconduct are evidenced by the police misconduct detailedherein. Specifically,

    pursuant to the aforementioned City policies, practices and/orcustoms, Defendants

    felt empowered to arrest Plaintiffs without probable cause andthen fabricate and

    swear to a false story to cover up their blatant violations ofPlaintiffs constitutional

    rights. Pursuant to the aforementioned City policies, practicesand/or customs, the

    officers failed to intervene in or report Defendants violationsof Plaintiffs rights.

    68. Plaintiffs injuries were a direct and proximate result ofthe defendant

    City and the NYPDs wrongful de facto policies and/orwell-settled and widespread

    customs and practices and of the knowing and repeated failure ofthe defendant City

    and the NYPD to properly supervise, train and discipline theirpolice officers.

    69. As a result of the foregoing, Plaintiffs was deprived oftheir liberty,

    endured psychological and emotional injury, humiliation, costsand expenses and

    suffered other damages and injuries.

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 27 of28 PageID #: 27

  • PRAYER FOR RELIEF

    WHEREFORE, plaintiffs respectfully request judgment againstdefendants as

    follows:

    (a) Compensatory damages against all defendants, jointly andseverally;

    (b) Punitive damages against the individual defendants, jointlyand severally;

    (c) Reasonable attorneys fees and costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C.1988; and

    (d) Such other and further relief as this Court deems just andproper.

    DATED: February 28, 2014 New York, New York

    _______/ss/_______________ Robert Marinelli 299 Broadway, 15thFloor New York, New York 10007 (212) 822-1427[emailprotected] Attorney for plaintiffs

    Case 1:14-cv-01636-JG-MDG Document 1 Filed 03/11/14 Page 28 of28 PageID #: 28

NYPD White Castle Lawsuit - [PDF Document] (2024)

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