Four Queens men sue NYPD after being held for 30 hours, busted for laughing at cops

Four Queens men claim they were locked up for more than 30 hours by cops seeking revenge on a crowd of men who laughed at an officer who couldn’t catch a fleeing drug suspect.

The men insist they didn’t even laugh, says their lawyer Gabriel P. Harvis, who filed suit against the NYPD and 10 unidentified officers in Brooklyn Federal Court. They believe they were arrested because cops wanted to take their frustration out on them, he said.

“The cops knew my clients had done nothing wrong, but they didn’t care,” said Harvis, who represents Abdul Kabba, Isaiah Barnes, Hasan Allen and Ishmial Deas. Police “were embarrassed, so they abused their power by locking them up anyway.”

The four were held for 27 hours in the 103rd Precinct stationhouse before the Queens district attorney’s office dropped the charges.

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Former New York Police Commissioner Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

New York, February 20 (RHC)– Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Bailey “Bernie” Kerik has been sentenced to four years in prison. Kerik pleaded guilty in November to lying to the White House when he was nominated to head the Department of Homeland Security.

The former Commish admitted to tax evasion and receiving renovations from a construction firm linked to organized crime. Bernard Kerik will remain under house arrest until he begins his sentence in May.

12-year-old American arrested for doodling on desk

A 12-year-old girl from New York has been handcuffed and arrested by the police for doodling on the classroom desk, an incident that has shaken the US education system to its core.

Alexa Gonzales, a seventh grader at the Junior High School in Forest Hills, had written the words “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)” on the classroom desk with a green marker when the school principal decided to have her arrested by the New York City Police Department.

Consequently, Alexa’s hands was cuffed behind her back while she was escorted from school to the police precinct across the street in front of her teachers and her classmates.

“They put the handcuffs on me, and I couldn’t believe it,” Alexa told CNN. “I didn’t want them to see me being handcuffed, thinking I’m a bad person.”

Alexa missed three days of school because of the psychological ordeal she faced. Her mother said she spent those days throwing up, and she found it difficult to catch up on homework when she eventually returned to school.

The case has cast a dark shadow over the use of so-called zero tolerance policies adopted in schools in the US.

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Lawsuit: NYPD routinely arrests students for non-crimes

ACLU: Racial element present in creation of ‘school-to-prison pipeline’

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by five students in the New York City school system against the New York City Police Department paints a picture of school officers who routinely abuse students and arrest them for non-criminal activities.

The lawsuit (PDF), brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of five students aged 13 to 18, says that school safety officers “have a long-standing pattern of abuse, unlawful arrests and excessive force against minority students who commit even minor infractions like talking back, being late for class or having a cell phone in school,” Courthouse News reports.

“Aggressive policing is stripping thousands of New York City students of their dignity and disrupting their ability to learn,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU said in a statement. “Despite mounting evidence of systemic misconduct by police personnel in the schools, the NYPD refuses to even acknowledge any problems with its school policing practices. We are confident that the courts will compel much-needed reform.”

One of the plaintiffs in the suit was 11 years old when she says she was “handcuffed and perp-walked into a police precinct for doing nothing more than doodling on a desk in erasable ink,” a lawyer for the students said.

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NYPD Must Give NYCLU Data on Race of People Shot at by Police

A Supreme Court of the State of New York judge has ordered the New York City Police Department to turn over to the New York Civil Liberties Union data concerning the race of all people who were shot at by police officers between 1997 and 2006.

The NYCLU sued the NYPD in August 2008 for access to racial data about police shooting victims. In response to the lawsuit, the NYPD agreed to disclose the race of people who were shot by police officers between 1997 and 2006. It refused to release racial data about people who had been shot at by police officers but not struck by the bullets.

In an opinion dated Dec. 15, Supreme Court Judge Joan A. Madden ruled that the NYPD had not met its burden under the state’s Freedom of Information Law to withhold the data.

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Grannies to Toys’R’Us : War is Not a Game

NEW YORK — On December 4, the Raging Grannies and the Granny Peace Brigade created a wonderful holiday peace event at the crossroads of the world, Times Square. The purpose was to send the message: No more war toys and no more war.

They met near the Recruiting Station where two New York City Police Department officers, polite but not particularly interested in the First Amendment, told them that they had to move on. Debate was futile. So, they moved to the huge Broadway Toys “R” Us where several grannies had entered minutes earlier, got on the three story high Ferris wheel in the store, and unfurled large yellow banners that read “No More War Toys — No More War.”

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Federal Judge Says NYPD Plagued by “Widespread Falsification by Arresting Officers”

In refusing to dismiss a lawsuit against New York City brought by two brothers arrested on trumped-up drug charges, Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein had some harsh words for the city’s police department. From the NY Daily News:

“Informal inquiry by [myself] and among the judges of this court, as well as knowledge of cases in other federal and state courts … has revealed anecdotal evidence of repeated, widespread falsification by arresting officers of the New York City Police Department,” Weinstein wrote.

He said that while the vast majority of cops don’t engage in crooked practices, it was common enough to be an institutional problem.

The judge said that despite better training for recruits and tough disciplinary action for bad cops, “there is some evidence of an attitude among officers that is sufficiently widespread to constitute a custom or policy by the city approving illegal conduct.”

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