New York City Police Department corruption and misconduct


Allegations of misconduct and corruption have occurred in the history of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) . Over 12,000 such cases have resulted in lawsuit settlements totalling over $400 million during a five-year period ending in 2014.

In 1962, the Bonanno crime family mobster Frank Lino was arrested for his alleged involvement in the shootings of two Brooklyn police detectives. The detectives, aged 28 and 56, were shot dead during a holdup of a tobacco store in Gravesend, Brooklyn, where Lino and two others netted $5,000. Lino was charged with the murders after supplying a getaway vehicle for one of the "stick-up men" so that he could then flee to Chicago. Lino was one of the five men charged after being taken to the 66th Precinct for an interrogation. During Lino's interrogation, he claimed that police officers drove staples into his hands and a broomstick up his rectum. He alleged that the abuse resulted in a broken leg and arm. Lino was later released with three years probation after he threatened to sue the city for police brutality. He also claimed that the uncontrollable blinking of his eyes was a direct result of the alleged beating.

On April 28, 1973, Officer Thomas Shea shot 10-year-old Clifford Glover while in South Jamaica, Queens, thinking Glover had a gun. On June 12, 1974, Shea was acquitted of wrongdoing by 11 white and one black jurors but was fired from the NYPD that year and afterwards was divorced and had moved out of state.

On June 14, 1975, Officer Thomas Ryan arrested Israel Rodriguez on burglary charges, beating him while in the car and at the 44th Precinct when they arrived there. In 1977, Ryan was convicted of criminally negligent homicide but in 1979 when he was about to be sentenced, escaped and lived at large until turning himself over to Queens' district attorney in 1981.

On November 25, 1976, Officer Robert Torsney shot Randolph Evans to death while responding to a call at Evans's home, a Brooklyn housing project. Torsney was found not guilty by insanity defense (automatism of Penfield epilepsy) in 1977 and was committed to Queens Creedmoor Psychiatric Hospital until July, 1979 when state reviewers declared him no longer a threat to himself or society and released him, although he was still denied a disability pension.

On September 15, 1983, Michael Jerome Stewart was arrested for spray painting graffiti on a wall of Manhattan's First Avenue station. He was violent with the officers, ran to the street and became unconscious and died on September 28, 1983. In October 1983, the case went before a grand jury in Manhattan, but was dismissed 7 months later because one of the jurors started private investigations on the case. In February 1984, a second grand jury indicted three officers with criminally negligent homicide, assault and perjury, while three other officers were charged with perjury and jury selection started in June 1985. On November 24, 1985, all six of the indicted officers were acquitted by a jury. In 1987, the eleven involved officers and the MTA were sued for $40 million. In August 1990, Stewart's parents and siblings settled out of court for $1.7 million.

On October 29, 1984, after threatening to throw boiling lye on Housing Authority personnel attempting to evict her, police forced entrance to Eleanor Bumpurs's public housing apartment, where she lived alone. Her adult daughters wanted her to be hospitalized because she was schizophrenic with hallucinations. Although NYPD procedure required a City psychiatrist to be called in a case of involuntary hospitalization, none was summoned to the scene. Bumpers was being evicted supposedly for nonpayment of rent. Although NYPD procedure required a City marshal to be present and restricted the role of police to protecting the marshal and the marshal's assistants, no marshal was summoned to the scene. It later turned out that she had paid her rent as usual but had not been informed of a recent rent increase. When police broke down the door, the elderly obese woman was standing at the far end of a hallway with a kitchen knife in her raised hand. Attempting to restrain her by pinning her against a wall with an extended Y-shaped pole, she swept away the pole and charged the officers. When the lead officer tripped and fell to the floor defenseless she stood over him and attempted to stab him with the knife, Officer Stephen Sullivan, fearing for his fellow officer's life, fired two shots from his 12-gauge shotgun, sending one pellet into Bumpers' hand and nine other pellets into her chest, killing her. Sullivan was tried and acquitted in 1987. In 1990, the city ended the legal proceedings by agreeing to pay $200,000 to Bumpurs family estate.

This page was last edited on 9 July 2018, at 17:56 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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