Runtime: 00:01:01 (One Minute, One second)
Video Site: The Attorney Depot™
"The only good nigger is a dead nigger and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other nigger from coming in the area."
-- July 2011 Statement by Oakland Public Schools Police Chief Pete Sarna, referring to an African-American police officer.
Top News Story!
Published: at 6:48 PM EST on Dec 20, 2016 ~ Updated: at 7:11 PM EST on Dec 23, 2016
East New York, NY -- Shirley Mejia (pictured above, center) is the new girlfriend of Keon Richmond. Richmond was arrested for setting his 26-year-old ex-girlfriend’s 2013 Nissan Maxima ablaze on Oct. 13, 2016 in East New York (Flatlands Brooklyn). Richmond is also the suspect in the murder of a correction officer. Mejia was herself indicted Wednesday. Detectives continue to investigate Richmond's involvement in the murder of Alastasia Bryan, 25. Bryan was a rookie correction officer. She was shot execution-style on December 4, 2016. She was shot and killed while talking on the phone call in her car at E. 73rd St. and Ave. L.
Brooklyn prosecutors indicted Mejia on Wednesday for participating in the vehicle arson. Mejia was released on her own recognizance by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter. Despite his “vigorous” objections to set bail, he ordered her to turn over her passport. Prosecutor Joanna Lettieri consented to releasing Mejia. Mejia exited the courtroom with her parents and declined to comment. Mejia faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted for the top charge of arson. Richmond, 33 (pictured above, center) was born in Trinidad & Tobago. He was held without bail by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Gary on December 15, 2016, because of his “murky” immigration status.
Posted: Dec. 20, 2016 2:12 PM PST ~ Updated: Dec. 21, 2016 9:13 PM PST
Manhattan, NY -- Nicholas Tartaglione, 49 (pictured above, center) is an ex-cop from Briarcliff Manor in Westchester County. Officials said he is charged with killing four men. The ex-cop was arraigned in Manhattan Federal Court for killing Martin Luna, 41; Urbano Santiago, 32; Miguel Luna, 25, and Hector Gutierrez, 43. The two Lunas and Santiago were all related. Gutierrez was a family friend. They were last seen alive on the afternoon of April 11 at a Chester diner. Chester police said at the time of the victims’ disappearance, the missing men frequented a farm in Wallkill. They worked in construction or farming. Tartaglione is charged with murder, as part of his involvement in a drug conspiracy and a host of other offenses. Officials said he could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
Tartalione worked for the Briarcliff Police Department before retiring. Tartaglione retired from the force in October 2008 with an annual pension of $65,176. Tartaglione purchased the Eleazer Harding Farm in Otisville for more than $500,000. He moved in last year with his girlfriend. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “When the alleged perpetrator of a gangland-style, quadruple homicide is a former police officer, that strikes at the heart of civilized society.” New York State Police Superintendent George Beach said: “Narcotics destroy communities and put lives at risk. These brutal murders are prime examples of the dangerous crimes that are associated with drug distribution.”
According to media sources Tartaglione whacked the four at an Orange County bar this past (April 2016). The murders allegedly occurred after a deal for five (5) kilos of cocaine went south. Tartaglione then allegedly took the 30-minute car ride north from the Likquid Lounge in Chester to his home. He then buried the bodies there. On Tuesday investigators dug up evidence on his sprawling upstate farm. Authorities said the evidence consisted of a quartet of bodies. Investigators used a backhoe to excavate the bodies Tuesday afternoon. The bodies were found on the 178-acre Otisville property owned by Tartaglione. The remains were not immediately identified.
A relative of the Lunas was too distraught to discuss the killings once the bodies had been unearthed. Felipe Luna, 51, “can’t talk right now,” his wife, Marcela Sosa, told media sources. “We lost so many loved ones in one incident. It’s sad. He’s not doing well.” The Lunas’ niece Alondra Castro, 21, said Martin was a generous man who worked in construction. “He was nice,” she said. “He helped everyone in the family. He helped them in anything.” Nicholas Tartaglione Sr., told media sources his son was innocent of the murders. “It’s not true — absolutely not,” he said. “He’s the best kid in the world. It’s a serious thing. They just said that they found four bodies. “I don’t know. I wish I did know."
Local residents noticed and complained of a horrific stench in recent days. Neighbor Kerri-Ann Lynch, 45, said: “I go to my chicken coop, and I see the backhoe digging, and it scares me because now I know what they’re digging for. I’d have never suspected this. One local acquainted with Tartaglione echoed Lynch’s tale of a bad odor coming from the property. The neighbor who did not want to be identified, said: “It really smelled of death, but then it disappeared after a couple of days.” The couple departed suddenly about two months ago. The neighbor said they left even after he bought 20 horses at a livestock auction and decorated the site with large wood sculptures of a deer and a bear. “Basically, he was here and all of a sudden he was gone. Now this is going on and it all makes sense.”
The musclebound Tartaglione retired from the Briarcliff Manor Police Department after a somewhat sketchy career. He was charged with lying under oath to protect a woman busted for drunken driving in 1999 — and placed on indefinite suspension despite an acquittal the next year. He won $320,000 in back pay and returned to the department after filing a 2002 lawsuit. He had briefly worked as a cop for police departments in Pawling, Dutchess County, and Mount Vernon before his time in Briarcliff Manor. Tartaglione was the target of an FBI civil rights investigation for physically abusing several people, including public access television host Clay Tiffany. The town settled with the now-deceased Tiffany for $1 million.
Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 5:51 PM EDT; Updated: Fri. Dec. 23, 2016, 5:51 AM PST
Bronx, NY -- A Bronx judge sentenced former city correction officer Darryl Brown, 58, to prison for 18 years Wednesday. Brown was convicted of fatally shooting his daughter’s boyfriend. He was found guilty of manslaughter for killing 21-year-old Vonde Cabbagestalk in 2014. Justice Robert Neary chose not to give Brown the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Instead, he was sentenced to 18 years behind bars. He was also sentenced to five years post-release supervision.
Brown shot Cabbagestalk after spotting him in the lobby of his building. Brown began fighting with his daughter’s boyfriend after demanding to know why Cabbagestalk was there. He ended up shooting him once in the chest. Witnesses said Brown pulled out a pistol after Cabbagestalk threw punches at him. Prosecutors said when Cabbagestalk tried to grab Brown’s gun, the off-duty officer then shot him, despite his daughter yelling, “No, daddy, no.” Witnesses said Brown then left Cabbagestalk bleeding on the ground. Brown’s lawyer argued during the two-week trial in Bronx Supreme Court that Brown acted in self-defense. He has vowed to appeal the verdict.
Posted: Sep 11, 2011 12:11 PM EDT; Updated: Sep 12, 2011 11:04 AM PDT
KANSAS CITY, MO (WCJB) - As thousands marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11, federal officials were busy at the Kansas City International Airport. Early Sunday morning travelers were caught off guard as Southwest Airlines closed down part of Terminal B at KCI. Gates 37 through 39 were shut down as a precaution, after a man refused to allow agents to search his carry-on. The man federal authorities detained is a former New York City police officer. He had a carry-on and two checked bags. Inside the man's bags were components that could have been used to make an explosive device. However the FBI said there were no explosives found on his carry-on luggage.
TSA screeners put the bag through the x-ray machine and noticed something suspicious. They immediately questioned the traveler. According to sources close to the investigation, the man began shouting, "I have my Fourth Amendment rights." Law enforcement officials detained the man and called in the Kansas City Police Department's bomb squad. Tricia Downing was on her way home and in line for security when she was told to evacuate. "I was in line for my flight at security. I was inside the door and all of the sudden they said 'turn around and leave,' and they just started shoeing everyone out of there. We left, and we didn't really get any explanation beyond that," said Tricia Downing, who was traveling from Denver. It was not long after that when travelers were left stranded and found themselves in long lines. Flights delayed, gates moved and hundreds packing the Southwest ticket counters wondering what to do next. An official close to the investigation tells local media the man had bought a ticket on Southwest earlier in the morning and was headed for Nashville when he was stopped.
Posted: 02/22/2011 02:47:02 PM PST
NYPD Shoot Reports!
NEW YORK — A New York City judge has ruled that the NYPD must hand over more than a decade's worth of reports on shootings. State Supreme Justice Emily Goodman's decision means reports will be made public on more than 800 instances since 1997 where officers fired at civilians. They will include details on famous cases like the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo and lesser-known cases in which no one was hit. The release follows a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union. The names of officers will be made public, but other details like addresses will be left off. Identifying information on witnesses will vary. The judge threw out the NYPD's argument that the reports would give up confidential investigative techniques and create a chilling effect on witnesses.
NYPD Misconduct Payouts
Doubled Since 1998
Doubled Since 1998
The amount New York City is paying to settle claims or cover judgments related to improper police conduct is soaring. According to a report in the New York Post, the city paid $66.4 million last year (2008) to 1,265 claimants who accused the NYPD of bad behavior. That compares with $31.8 million paid to 571 claimants in 1998. Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, says those figures reveal an increasing problem of police wrongdoing during Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration. She says the rise in payouts parallels an increase in police-abuse complaints made to the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says payouts don't always reflect misconduct because the city frequently settles cases in which the police are innocent of wrongdoing. Lieberman has been executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union since December 2001.
July 3, 2009 The family of a Bronx man killed by an off-duty cop who claimed he was acting in self-defense reacted with tears and resignation Thursday when the officer was sentenced to one to three years in jail. Fermin Arzu's family had asked for the maximum of 15 years in prison for Rafael Lora, who was fired from the NYPD after the fatal shooting. "Even though I didn't get the exact sentence I wanted, I feel happy because it's going to prevent other families from going through the same thing that I'm going through," said Arzu's daughter, Katherine. "Justice was served for my family." Her mother, Anayda Arzu, hoped for a stiffer sentence. "I feel bad, but only God can decide," she said. "Let the message go out to police officers around the world - if you're acting as a police officer and kill someone recklessly you will go to jail," added lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, who is representing the Arzu family in a civil suit against the city. Even if Lora (pictured above left), who is free pending appeal, were immediately jailed he would be eligible for probation in 90 days, according to his lawyer, Stuart London. Prosecutors denied that. The law allowed Bronx Supreme Court Justice Margaret Clancy to sentence Lora, 39, to anything from community service to up to 15 years in prison. Clancy said prison time was required to show Arzu's family that the slain man was "loved and valued by society," but she was reluctant to hit Lora with the max because he'd been a good cop until the shooting. Lora was stoic when he was convicted of manslaughter after a nonjury trial in April, but he wept as he read his presentencing statement. "Not a day goes by that the tragic loss suffered by this family does not cross my mind," he said. "I would like to send my sincere prayers to the Arzu family." Several Arzu family members walked out of the courtroom as the veteran cop spoke, and the dead man's daughter said she wasn't moved by the ex-cop's tears. "I didn't feel that was really coming from his heart," she said. Lora was off-duty when he heard a minivan driven by a dazed and drunken Arzu, 41, crash into a parked car near his Longwood home on May 18, 2007. The cop testified during the nonjury trial that he raced toward Arzu's vehicle after it crashed. He said that when he asked for Arzu's driver's license, the Honduran immigrant took off, dragging him along. Lora said he was forced to shoot Arzu, whose van careened down the street and burst into flames. Prosecutors argued there was no reason for him to shoot.
April 3, 2009 See Update A New York City police officer said he shot a drunk driver to save his own life, but a judge didn't buy it. On Friday, the judge found officer Rafael Lora guilty, and he now faces hard time behind bars. The extended family of victim Fermin Arzu and community activists in the Bronx said they were happy and relieved that Judge Margaret Clancy found the off-duty police officer Raphael Lora guilty of manslaughter in the second degree. "I'm happy that he was convicted, and I thank my family and God for being there for me and helping me," daughter Katherine Arzu said. It was almost two years ago that the off-duty officer ran out of his home in Longwood after the minivan Arzu was driving crashed into a car on the street. Officer Lora chased the minivan. The officer testified that he thought Arzu (pictured left) was reaching for a weapon, when the van lurched forward and knocked the officer to the ground. Lora testified that he opened fire, killing Arzu, in a desperate effort to save his own life. "This verdict is devastatingly wrong," PBA President Patrick Lynch says. "This sends a message to every New York City police officer. "When they hang their uniform in that locker, it sends a message of 'walk on by'," Lynch says. "It sends a message that if you see something going wrong, someone is in need, walk on by." Lora's lawyer says the police officer is loved in his community because he was always looking out to protect his neighbors. "There was no forensic evidence indicating his actions were reckless at all," Stuart London, Lora's attorney, says. "We are obviously disappointed by the verdict." Lora (pictured left) took the stand last month and claimed he called 9-1-1 the night he killed Arzu. Arzu was drunk when he crashed his van outside Lora's home. The off-duty cop grabbed his gun and ran to the vehicle. Lora said Arzu was incoherent, then suddenly Arzu threw something in Lora's face and started driving away. Lora said his arm was stuck in the door. "My main intention was to extract myself from the car and that's when I fired my weapon," he said. There were five shots. One hit Arzu in the back, killing him. Steve London, a Patrolmen's Benevolent Association attorney who represents Lora, said his client "acted professionally and was justified on the night in question." But the Arzu family said the cop's story didn't hang together. There was nothing in the EMT report to support Lora's claim that his tooth was chipped when Arzu threw something at his face. Lora has also told different accounts of when he fired his weapon, saying he fired in order to break free of the moving van versus another version where he said he broke free first and then fired. "Frankly rather than acting like a heroic officer to render aid, he acted with a chicken heart," said Arzu family attorney Michael Hardy. Arzu had a son, Jeyson, and a fiancee, Thomasa Sabia, whom he had planned to marry in October 2007. Lora is an eight-year veteran of the NYPD assigned to traffic duty, a father of one and a Marine Veteran of the first Gulf War. He has no previous record of civilian complaints. Officer Lora has been on modified duty for two years on highway patrol. He still faces departmental manslaughter charges. Sentencing is set for May 15, 2009 and Judge Clancy says it'll be very difficult because of the wide range of possibilities – from no prison time to 15 years in prison.
March 20, 2009 The families' attorneys had just rested their case during the trial when the deal was announced. Relatives had sought $20 million, but their attorney said they were content, accepting the settlement as affirmation that excessive force was used. "We believe justice has been done," lawyer Seth Harris said. "The city waved the white flag, and this clearly shows the officers used excessive force, and these boys didn't have to die." Hilton Vega was shot eight times and his cousin Anthony Rosario 14 times when they arrived at an apartment on Jan. 12, 1995. The officers, James Crowe and Patrick Brosnan, had been there interviewing residents on a tip that a robbery would take place. The victims were face-down on the ground when they were killed. Some of the 28 shots fired hit the floorboards. The city Law Department continued to defend the now-retired officers. A New York Police Department investigation found the officers acted within department guidelines, and a grand jury in the Bronx brought no criminal charges. Federal prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence for them to pursue charges. "We believe that our police officers acted appropriately when confronted with three armed gunmen after being called by a man in fear of his life," said Fay Leoussis, chief of the Law Department's Tort Division. "However, we have agreed to resolve these cases in light of the uncertainties of litigation." Versions of what happened the night of the shooting varied greatly during the civil trial, including who was shot first, how the men came to be face-down, and what the detectives were doing at the apartment. Crowe and Brosnan were there for at least an hour before Rosario and Vega arrived. The victims said they had come to the building to collect a debt they believed was owed to one of their girlfriends in a scam run by the man who lived at the apartment. The officers told them to get on the ground and opened fire when Rosario and Vega did not comply quickly enough. Vega, 21, and the 18-year-old Rosario died, and another man with them was injured. The men were armed, but they fired no shots. The officers retired from the force on a disability pension related to the incident in 1996. The shooting happened during an era of community outrage against then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani's administration over allegations of excessive force by police officers who, like those in the Bronx case, received little or no punishment. Critics said the NYPD had overlooked incriminating details because Brosnan served as a volunteer bodyguard for the mayor's 1993 campaign. "The NYPD closed its official investigation in seven days, concluding that Brosnan and Crowe acted appropriately. At the very least this looks like unseemly haste, given that Bonilla's account of events flatly contradicted that of the police and the fact that the Rodriguezes vanished shortly after the incident. Initially paralyzed by grief, Anthony's mother, Margarita Rosario, first pulled herself together to alert the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and later founded the activist group Parents Against Police Brutality. The CCRB discovered a bungled crime scene, uncovered the Rodriguezes' long criminal history (including their ongoing green-card marriage scam and his string of arrests for violent robberies), and reported an independent medical examiner's conclusion that Vega and Rosario were shot while lying on the floor. The Rodriguezes were repeatedly relocated by police and their superintendent, who witnessed the shootings, fled to Puerto Rico claiming he was being harassed by cops. Despite mounting evidence that Crowe and Brosnan had responded to a non-lethal situation with murderous force, Mayor Giuliani and police officials supported them without reservation, publicly denigrating the Rosario family and ignoring the CCRB's conclusions. A Bronx grand jury declined to indict Crowe and Brosnan, though at least one juror said they might have voted differently if they'd heard testimony from witnesses like Bonilla. Osman and Stack may be guilty of lending excessive credence to Mrs. Rosario's insistence that her nephew and son were good boys who couldn't have done the things of which they were accused, but they also document what looks like a textbook cover-up of police misconduct, abetted by an administration unsympathetic to the concerns of minority communities."
$1.15M SETTLEMENT IN SUIT OVER 1995 NYPD SHOOTING NYPD HOMICIDES
• The 1999 Amadou Bailo Diallo killing, in which an unarmed Black man was killed in a barrage of 41 bullets fired by Police officers while he stood on the doorstep to his own home, and yet I still can't makes sense of it and I still can only remember. But I told myself it couldn't get worse than that. After all, the police said it looked like Diallo drew a gun, but it turned out he pulled out his wallet to show them the Photo ID because they requested to see it even as their guns were drawn; • Less than a year later, came the murder of Patrick Moses Dorismond in March 2000, an unarmed man, also killed by Police in New York. Over three thousand mourners showed up for his funeral; • In May 2003, Ousmane Zongo a Burkinabè arts trader living in New York City, was completely unarmed and yet shot and killed by a New York City Police Department officer in a case of mistaken identity during a botched police sting. The shooter, officer Bryan Conroy, was disguised as a postal worker and shot Zongo four times, twice in the back but did not receive any jail time. Zongo is survived by a widow and two children; and • then on November 27th, 2006 Sean Bell, an unarmed New Yorker was killed just hours before his wedding.
Update: October 14, 2009
QUEENS, NY — An off-duty New York City police officer has been convicted of murder in the shooting death of his 22-year-old fiancée two years ago in Woodhaven, Queens. Harry Rupnarine, 39, of Queens, who joined the Police Department in January 2005 and was assigned to the Transit Task Force in Brooklyn, has been suspended without pay since his arrest in May 2007. Rupnarine was convicted late Wedneday night of second-degree murder following a three-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise. The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for approximately eight hours before rendering their verdict. Rupnarine faces up to 25 years to life in prison when sentenced on Oct. 29, 2009.
The District Attorney said that, according to the trial testimony, Rupnarine (pictured left) and his fiancée, Guiatree Hardat, 22, of Brooklyn, were arguing on Atlantic Ave., between 81st and 82nd Streets, at approximately 7:30 p.m. on May 10, 2007, when the defendant withdrew his service-issued Glock 9-mm handgun and pulled the trigger at close range, shooting her in the back of the head and killing her. Rupnarine and Ms. Hardat had been dating off and on for the prior 16 months. Update: September 27, 2009 An ex-cop’s testimony that he accidentally killed his fiancée while gunning for knife-wielding thugs drew mockery from the prosecution Friday. Taking the stand in his defense, Harry Rupnarine claims he pulled a pistol when a man jumped out as he walked in Queens with Guiatree Hardat. “I saw a second guy from the corner of my eye and I turned,” Rupnarine testified. “When I turned the gun went off. …I didn’t see her. All I saw was these guys took off.” Prosecutor Jack Warsawsky heaped scorn on his account and suggested Rupnarine shot Hardat in the back of the head during an argument. “You don’t know how she wound up with a bullet hole in her head?” Warsawsky asked. The prosecutor questioned whether Rupnarine, 39, was upset Hardat’s parents complained he was too old for their 22-year-old daughter. “We didn’t look at age,” the fired transit cop replied, his voice breaking. “We loved each other. …We had a lover’s quarrel over the money for the wedding.” Warsawsky asked if Rupnarine shed a tear as paramedics tended to his dying lover on Atlantic Ave. in Woodhaven on May 10, 2007. “I don’t know,” Rupnarine said. “I was in shock.” “Are you crying now or are you trying to cry?” the prosecutor asked. May 10, 2007 Police authorities stated that the off duty police officer Harry Rupnarine and his girlfriend had been arguing outside at 82nd Street and Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens, when the argument became out of control, the officer then went for his gun and shot his girlfriend. Unfortunately the woman died at the scene. When police officers arrived at the scene, Rupnarine was complaining of chest pains and was immediately taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens. This however did not stop the NYPD from taking Officer Harry Rupnarine into custody where he was questioned all night long by fellow officers. Officer Harry Rupnarine was then charged with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, Guyatree Harpati who was from Brooklyn and only 22 years of age. At the time of the shooting, Harpati had been on the phone with her father. Guyatree Harpati who was a land surveyor had told friends and family that she was trying to end the relationship with the officer. Unfortunately, Rupnarine had different plans for the two.
The gun used in the shooting was Rupnarine's service weapon, a 9mm Glock. Fellow officers are shocked and surprised that this could have happen being that he had only been on the force since 2005. Many eyewitnesses have come forward to give their statements. The victims father told police that he had heard his daughter tell Rupnarine to "Get away from me. I hate you", unfortunately that did not happen and the young girl was killed seconds afterward.
Movie Intermission! Randall Kerrick Murder Trial
Description: Charlotte, NC – Defense lawyers present their closing arguments in the manslaughter trial of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick, charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell.