A protester facing class D felony charges for assaulting a police officer claims that she was, in fact, the one assaulted – and she’s got pictures to prove it.
The protester is Cecily McMillan. The altercation between her and New York Police Department Officer Grantley Bovell took place on March 18, 2012. On that night, protesters gathered in a New York park.
As the park grew crowded, NYPD officers were told to clear the group out. Officer Bovell and other NYPD officers began rounding up protesters and forcibly removing them from the park.
During the clearing, McMillan felt a hand grab her breast from behind. She instinctively threw an elbow at the groper, hitting him under the eye. The man she hit turned out to be Officer Bovell.
McMillan was immediately detained and put in handcuffs. In the days following her arrest, she told media outlets that police used excessive force against her during her detainment. After being released, McMillan went to The Institute of Family Health in Manhattan and had pictures taken of her body. The pictures validate her claim that someone did indeed grab her breast and use excessive force when handling her.
Here they are:
On the night she was arrested, McMillan suffered an epileptic seizure after being handcuffed. A witness video shows NYPD officers standing over McMillan and watching as she convulses on the ground. The officers never undid her handcuffs during the seizure.
McMillan was on the ground for roughly 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Here is the witness video:
McMillan’s trial was set to begin on February 6, but got pushed back because a judge hadn’t yet been selected.
In a March 2012 statement McMillan said she is confident the trial will clear her of any wrongdoing.
“I am innocent of any wrongdoing, and confident I will be vindicated,” she said, adding that she has a “long-standing personal commitment to non-violence.”
City Says Hero Stabbing Victim Can't Sue NYPD for Negligence After He Fought Off Murderer In Front Of Officers (Video)
Joseph Lozito, the man who was brutally stabbed in the face by killer Maksim Gelman, sued the city of New York because, he says, two police officers failed to help him when he was attacked.
Gelman went on a daylong killing spree, fatally stabbing three random people and almost adding Lozito to his tally, but after he told the Lozito, “You’re going to die,” he was taken out and held down by Lozito until police arrived.
Lozito says that officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor were on the train where the attack happened and did nothing to protect him while he struggled to stop the deranged man from killing him.
“Most of my wounds are in the back of my head,” Lozito said. “He got to the back of my head because my left shoulder [was] in his waist.”
Once Lozito had Gelman pinned to the floor, after he'd already been stabbed in the face, Howell reportedly walked over, tapped the injured hero on the shoulder, and said, “You can get up now.”
“By the time he got there, the dirty work was already done,” said Lozito.
Following the incident, Lozito decided to sue the city for negligence because the two officers did nothing to stop the incident or step in while Lozito struggled to keep the killer down.
Unfortunately, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan threw out the lawsuit, saying that although it was “shocking and horrific,” the law doesn’t allow him to claim negligence against the police.
“Under well-established law, the police are not liable for such incidents,” said city lawyer David Santoro. “That doesn’t detract from the Police Department’s public safety mission, or the fact that New York is the safest big city in America.”
As for Gelman, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the three murders.
Peter Shankman is a CEO, TEDx speaker, NASA advisor, and HARO founder, amongst other things. He can now add one more accolade to his resume: being the jogger who was ticketed for running too early in the morning in Central Park.
Shankman was with his running partner in Central Park at 4:30 a.m. training for an upcoming triathlon when a police officer cited him.
According to the NYPD officer, “the people’s park” does not open until 6am.
"Most people who've gotten in touch think it's a bogus charge, and have mentioned end of the month quotas as a reason I didn't just get a warning," Shankman told Gothamist.
Shankman gave an account of what happened on his Facebook page:
At 4:30 this morning in Central Park, at mile 2 of my ten mile run, I was stopped by the police and given a summons for exercising in the park "before it opened." Apparently, Central Park doesn't "open" until 6am, and my exercising (running) in the park before 6am is illegal. Note - Running in the park. Not "performing sex acts for crack," or "laying down explosive charges," but "running." Because apparently, a 215 pound man running through Central Park at just over a 9:10 pace is a threat to Manhattan.
To answer the question of why I was running so early - I needed to do ten miles today as part of Ironman training. If I didn't start that early, I wouldn't be done before my first meeting of the day.
A "hey, buddy, the park doesn't open until six, you need to run on the sidewalk outside" from the police officer wouldn't have sufficed? Apparently not, since he made it clear that his boss was in the car with him, so he had to write me up.
I now get to go to court in May and fight this. What a waste of taxpayer money, and my time. Ridiculous.
Shankman claims he saw no signs or warnings at 63rd Street and Central Park West where he entered the park, reports the Daily Mail.
“The last 12 years have really been about getting the city healthy, you know,” Shankman said to Pix 11. "No smoking in bars, no trans fats, and here I was, I was running, I was exercising, trying to lose a few more pounds before this race. Thank god I wasn’t holding a BIG Gulp.”
Shankman faces a fine of up to $1,000 and must appear in court in May.
A disturbing video showing a man being arrested in the Bronx has gone viral.
The video shows a man sitting down after exiting a bus on Pelham Parkway. Two officers are restraining him while the man questions why. He keeps saying that he gave them his identification and ticket so there should be no reason why they are restraining him. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, reports say that the officers may have accused the man of not paying his bus fare, but witnesses say that he showed them his receipt.
The man becomes agitated as the officers refuse to stop holding him, so as he tries to stand up, a struggle ensues. The two officers are then joined by four other officers who all struggle to arrest the man, eventually pulling him to the ground.
"Oh my God," yells the man. "Please don't do this to me!"
Eventually, with six officers all on top of the man, he is cuffed. As the officers get up, one clearly kicks him in the head for no reason at all.
After the video was posted on Facebook by Dariel Reyes, it quickly went viral. The NYPD says they are aware of the video and are investigating the incident. According to the Daily News, the petition has already gotten over 100 signatures.
A New York woman and her two young children were stabbed to death last month.
Guatemalan immigrant and Queens resident, Deisy Garcia, 21, filed a domestic-abuse report on May 30, 2013, saying she was afraid that her husband would kill her.
According to TheBlaze, the report, which was in Spanish, was never translated into English.
New York City Police also responded to two reports filed by Garcia, at least one of them in Spanish, regarding her husband’s violence and threats last November, but no arrests were made.
Garcia and her daughters, Daniela, 2, and Yoselin, 1, were found dead in their apartment on Jan. 17, allegedly stabbed by Garcia’s husband and the girls’ father, Miguel Mejia-Ramos.
The NYPD did not have an explanation to why there was no English translation of the report.
“I knew about the police report, and I knew about the police showing up at the house previously on one of the times where Deisy had called the police because she had been the victim of domestic violence,” Roger Asmar, the family's attorney, told CNN. “But we did not know that every time Deisy filled out a report — every time she went to the precinct or the cops came to the house — no one actually translated the text into English, so, apparently no one looked into it.”
Garcia’s family says that if the police had taken action, she might still be around.
“I know she contacted them and told them he kicked her and abused her, but the police told her they needed to see proof of the abuse,” Luzmina Alvarado, Garcia’s mother, told the New York Post.
An NYPD representative said, “The allegations are under internal review.”
Officers were also reminded that police department policy mandates that reports in foreign languages must be translated into English.
According to statements to police after his arrest, Mejia-Ramos, 28, was angry when he found a Facebook photo of his wife with another man. He allegedly used two knives to kill Garcia before hugging and kissing his daughters, asking for forgiveness, and then stabbing both of them multiple times.
The New York Times reported that after two suicide attempts, first stabbing himself in the chest and then hanging himself, he fled. An illegal immigrant, Mejia-Ramos was arrested in Texas on Jan. 20 en route to Mexico after police tracked his cellphone.
He surrendered and confessed to killing his children because he didn’t have any car seats to take them.
Mejia-Ramos was nearly deported, but his case was closed in 2011 after it fell under guidelines set up by the Obama administration that directed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to focus on cases involving those found guilty of serious crimes.
A federal judge in New Jersey ruled Thursday that the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims was legal.
According to The Associated Press, U.S. District Judge William Martini has dropped a lawsuit against the NYPD by a group of Muslims in New Jersey who alleged that the department’s spying on them infringed on their constitutional rights because they focused on religion, national origin and race.
Martini noted the plaintiffs had no proof that the NYPD “acted with discriminatory purpose,” spying on them just because of their religion. “The more likely explanation for the surveillance was to locate budding terrorist conspiracies,” he wrote.
The judge added: “The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights’ legal director, Baher Azmy released a statement criticizing the ruling, calling it troubling: “In addition to willfully ignoring the harm that our innocent clients suffered from the NYPD’s illegal spying program, by upholding the NYPD’s blunderbuss Muslim surveillance practices, the court’s decision gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims anywhere and everywhere in this country, without limitation, for no other reason than their religion.”
Along with CCR, California-based civil rights group Muslim Advocates also made it clear that they will appeal the ruling. Glenn Keaton, Muslim Advocates’ legal director, was quoted in the New York Village Voice saying, “The fight is not over by any means. The surveillance program violates the Constitution, and we are confident that this decision will not hold up to review upon appeal. The NYPD's blatantly discriminatory program has hurt the lives of many innocent Americans--moms who fear sending their children to school, students who simply want to pray, and Muslim-owned businesses that have lost customers.”
The city’s Law Department declined to comment on the ruling. Former Mayor Michael Michael Bloomberg and former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has always backed the surveillance programs, saying they were necessary for the protection of the city from terrorist attacks.
A similar lawsuit filed in a Brooklyn federal court is still ongoing.
A Brooklyn man filed suit against the New York Police Department after he says a police cruiser driving the wrong way hit his parked SUV, and then cops arrested him for operating a vehicle with a suspended license.
Robert Jackson, 31, says he was falsely arrested in front of his Brownsville home in April 2013, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday.
He claims a patrol car drove the wrong way down a one-way street and smacked into his SUV when it moved to avoid an oncoming truck.
According to the criminal complaint, Officer Christopher Oliver says he "went to the driver's side door of defendant's vehicle and observed the door open and the keys in the ignition.”
"I thought it was a joke," Jackson told the New York Daily News. "The cop said, 'Dude, you ran into me.’”
Jackson says he was sitting in the passenger seat when the collision occurred. He insists his engine wasn’t running and the keys weren’t in the ignition.
A surveillance video from a nearby home captured police exiting their vehicle and never approaching the driver’s side of Jackson’s SUV.
Jackson is suing the city and the two officers who were in the patrol car.
"Up until now, I'm still a little shocked they can actually do that," he said. "I was looking for an apology. They could have gotten the vehicle fixed."
New York City police officer Efrain Rojas allegedly assaulted and arrested Shawn Thomas for filming him and another police officer inside a Brooklyn subway station last Saturday.
A video (below) of the incident shot by Thomas on his video camera was originally confiscated by Rojas, who reportedly deleted it, but Thomas subsequently recovered the video and uploaded it to the web, notes the New York Daily News.
The video shows Rojas walking up to Thomas and using his personal iPhone to record Thomas as Thomas recorded another police officer arresting a young man.
“Why are you invading my personal space?” Thomas asked Rojas, who replied, “You’re violating my personal space, too."
“Do you pick and choose what part of your patrol guide to read?” Thomas countered.
Rojas threatened to arrest Thomas, who fired back, “Try it and see what happens. Now back the f--- up and get out of my personal space."
“That’s three times you cursed at me,” replied Rojas. “I haven’t cursed at you once.”
“That’s two,” adds Thomas. “Now back the f--- up. That’s three.”
Rojas told Thomas to leave, but he refused; the cop grabbed him and the video ends.
Thomas claims Rojas pulled him out of the subway station, forced him face down on a sidewalk and slammed his head into the pavement.
Another camera person reportedly recorded Thomas after the alleged assault happened.
“I was bleeding profusely,” Thomas told told PhotographyIsNotaCrime.com. “I was having really bad head pains while in jail, so they took me back to the hospital the following morning.”
Thomas was taken to the hospital twice over the weekend.
He was released on his own recognizance after being charged with obstructing government administration, resisting arrest, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
The NYPD's Transit Bureau Investigations Unit and the Civilian Complaint Review Board are reviewing the video.
Rojas allegedly deleted the video, but Thomas recovered the footage via a free program, Recuva.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the public is allowed to record police officers as long as they do not interfere with police work or endanger other people.
Sources: PhotographyIsNotaCrime.com and New York Daily News
Ex-NYPD cop and convicted rapist Michael Pena is calling his 75-year prison sentence for the rape of Lydia Cuomo “politically motivated” and an “injustice.”
Pena pleaded guilty in June 2012 to raping school teacher Lydia Cuomo. Cuomo was on the way to her first day of work at her new job when Pena, on his way home from a drunken night out, forced her into an apartment courtyard and raped her.
Pena was also convicted of predatory sexual assault – a felony offense that involves wielding a weapon during a sex crime. After abducting Cuomo, he pulled out a .9mm gun issued to him through the NYPD and threatened to “blow her head off” if she didn’t do what he told her to.
Though Pena pleaded guilty to his charges, his attorney says the sentence handed to Pena doesn’t fit the crime.
Attorney Ephraim Savitt said the 75 year sentence is the harshest “ever imposed in the modern era in this country for a first-time sex crime offender that did not result in the death, maiming or permanent physical disability of his victim…
“Even in cases of rape by serial rapists, or of brutal thugs that physically beat and slash their victims, punishment has been generally considerably lower than Pena’s sentence,” Savitt said.
The attorney went on to call the sentence an example of “media-intensified vengeance” and said Pena is being sentenced more harshly than “Al Qaeda terrorists, vicious killers, kingpin narcotics offenders, violent gangsters and racketeers.”
Try as Pena might to paint himself as a victim, the woman forever scarred by his crime feels no more sympathy for him than he felt for her on the night she was raped.
“Seventy-five years? I still have my entire life with this and I did nothing to ask for it,” Cuomo said. “I do think the punishment fits the crime.”
Two men accidentally sent selfies to police from a cell phone they stole during a series of Harlem muggings, according to the NYPD.
After allegedly demanding the phone from an 18-year-old walking down the street and threatening him with a fake gun, the duo took selfies and uploaded them to a photo-sharing account flagged by police.
The photo shows the two suspects wearing black Lacoste hoodies.
Police have tied the most recent robbery to three other incidents involving stolen cell phones, money and a MetroCard.
The pair is said to have used a real gun in one incident, though none of the victims in the muggings were injured.
The suspects are in their late teens or early 20s and stand between 5-foot-9 and 6-feet tall.