This blog has talked about corruption within the ranks of law enforcement in the state. By and large, New York’s finest does live up to its name – but there are serious patterns across the state that warrant concern – particularly for potential defendants and their lawyers.
A teen who was pimped out by an NYPD detective recently was awarded $1.25 million for her horrible experience. Detective Wayne Taylor, the detective in question, had a long line of complaints about his behavior as an undercover officer and detective. Among the complaints are an abuse of authority and having sex with prostitutes.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn, the child – 13 at the time, and known only as H.H., came into contact with Taylor. She was a ballet dancer and was invited to dance a party for money, from a woman who claimed to be Taylor’s wife. She showed up to the party, where she was ‘sold’ for $500.00. When H.H. balked, she alleged that Taylor said he was a detective, and if she did not follow his orders, he would throw her in the street and arrest her for prostitution.
He forced her into prostitution and eventually passed her on to another pimp. Prior to this incident, the evidence revealed that Taylor had been the subject of 25 complaints. Three had been cleared, but the remainder were pending. Taylor pleaded guilty, but the Judge in the matter believed that had the NYPD adequately investigated and disciplined Taylor for his bad conduct, he would not have felt that he could have prostituted H.H.
In other disturbing news, another NYPD cop has been caught sending sexually inappropriate texts to a 16-year old. He also worked as a girls’ volleyball coach through the “Cops and Kids” program of the Police Athletic League. Andre Patnett accepted an unspecified penalty instead of a department trial, being allowed to keep his shield. However, he could still be terminated.
Another police officer of the NYPD, Reynaldo Lopez, has been arrested after he tried to bring 3 kilograms of heroin into the city – a small part of a massive scheme involving credit card fraud and counterfeit cash. Lopez had been caught after another undercover officer handed off the drugs during a meetup in New Jersey. According to court records, he was also seen carrying his own personal handgun during the drug deal. He became a target after the NYPD and FBI had carried out a sting investigating a counterfeit credit card ring earlier in the year. Lopez is accused of receiving stolen credit card information and accepting stolen identities from another undercover officer. He used these fraudulent credit cards to spend over $13,000.00 at various luxury retail stores around New York and New Jersey. Possession of narcotics over 1 kilogram carries with it a maximum life sentence.
After internal disciplinary reports of the NYPD were released to the public, it is clear that there is a rash of cover-ups and corruption occurring in the department. The NYPD allowed over 300 cops accused of significant and serious misconduct (beating civilians, perjury, selling drugs, etc.) to stay on the force. Prosecutors are implicated, with many of them dropping cases concerning bad police conduct, meaning they could not be held accountable to the public. Perhaps the City should look to the strides Philadelphia has made. Prosecutors have publicly released a list of officers they could not have as witnesses based on their past serious misconduct. This would be a start in increasing transparency and accountability of the NYPD.