FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., Former NYPD ‘Karate Cop’ Claims, Terminated For Being DV Victim
New York, NY, September 24, 2018, According to the lawsuit, ‘culturally’ within the NYPD, department brass harshly disciplines officers’ after disclosing they are victims of domestic abuse.
Guerrero claims, after the settlement in the Latino Officer Ass’n v. City of New York, et al. 209 F.R.D. 79 (2002), the Department continues to ‘unlawfully’ use the NYPD Disciplinary System (Command Disciplines, Department Advocate’s Office and Deputy Commissioner of Trials) to continue engaging in a ‘pattern and practice’ of using racial and gender stereotyping as the basis for ‘unfairly’ discipling male officers’ of color.
As evidence of the ‘willful’ pattern of using racial and gender stereotyping as the basis for discipling male officers of color, it hired First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin B. Tucker, Deputy Commissioner Trials Rosemarie Maldonado and Assistant Commissioner Department Advocate Kevin S. Richardson, according to the lawsuit.
Guerrero alleges that from August 2012 through December 23, 2015, Ms. Yahayra Feliz whom he has child in common with, physically and mentally abused him including threatening to have him fired from the NYPD. He claims that he reluctantly disclosed the domestic abuse to the Department.
On or about December 23, 2015, while alone inside of his apartment, he was awaked by Ms. Feliz with a smack to his face. Guerrero claims, Ms. Feliz entered his apartment without authorization. At some point, while arguing with Ms. Feliz, she was able to gain control of his department authorized Glock Model 26 9MM pistol. According to the lawsuit, while struggling with Ms. Feliz attempting to re-gain control over pistol, it discharged striking her in the neck causing a flesh wound.
The next morning, Guerrero alleges that Detective Megan Madaus, Major Case Squad of the Police Department City of Yonkers ‘falsely’ arrested and charged him reckless endangerment in the first degree. He claims, Detective Maduas had no ‘probable cause’ to arrest him and they failed to follow paragraph (c) of subdivision 4 of Section 140.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law (Primary Physical Aggressor) due to their racial and gender stereotyping believing he could not be a victim of domestic violence, according to the lawsuit. The Department suspended Guerrero for thirty (30) days without pay. He alleges, the suspension was violative of federal and state human rights laws particularly New York City Administrative Code § 8-107.1 (3) . See Matter of Reynolds v. Fraser 2004 NY Slip Op 24352 [5 Misc. 3d 758] September 24, 2004 http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/other-courts/2004/2004-24352.html
According to the lawsuit, after numerous court appearances and testifying before the Grand Jury, Westchester County Assistant District Attorney Wendy Parra withdrew the felony complaint. On or about July 18, 2016, the case was dismissed and sealed.
On or about July 28, 2016, Guerrero met with the NYPD Force Investigation Division. Several months later, on or about January 26, 2017, Inspector Kevin Maloney of the the Force Investigation Division concluded Guerrero fired his pistol at Ms. Feliz. A review of the findings indicate Maloney did not assess the possibility of an ‘accidental’ discharge with Guerrero and Ms. Feliz’s hands on the pistol. Guerrero alleges, Maloney reached this conclusion because of racial and gender stereotyping disbelieving the possibility of an ‘accidental’ discharge while struggling to gain control of the pistol from Ms. Feliz.
On or about December 15, 2017, Hearing Officer Assistant Trial Commissioner David S. Weisel as the reviewer of evidence prepared a Report and Recommendation, recommending he be found Guilty of all charges and the penalty of termination imposed. Guerrero claims,
that Hearing Officer Assistant Trial Commissioner Weisel’s Report and Recommendation is full of racial and gender bias along with speculation and conjecture.
Moreover, that Hearing Officer Assistant Trial Commissioner Weisel, the Trial Commissioner’s Office in general has a long history of preparing Report and Recommendation that are full of racial and gender bias along with speculation and conjecture primarily whenever there is a review of evidence against officers of color.
According to the lawsuit, the ultimate reviewers of the Report and Recommendation merely rubber stamp them without any true interactive review process to ensure objectively, fairness and the officer, primarily of color rights are protected.
Guerrero claims, that Hearing Officer Assistant Trial Commissioner Weisel ‘intentionally’ ignored the testimony of Sergeant Neil Casey, Force Investigation Division that “there is no forensic evidence Guerrero he fired the weapon. Ms. Feliz’s DNA was not tested. Nor was the firearm tested for DNA.” According to the lawsuit, Guerrero alleges that the testimony of Sergeant Casey is in direct conflict with the findings of the report created by Inspector Maloney.
Guerrero alleges, that on or about December 15, 2017, Deputy Trial Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado merely rubber stamped Hearing Officer Assistant Trial Commissioner Weisel’s Report and Recommendation without any true interactive review process to ensure objectively, fairness and his rights are protected.
On or about February 1, 2018, Guerrero claims Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill merely rubber stamped Hearing Officer Assistant Trial Commissioner Weisel’s Report and Recommendation without any true interactive review process to ensure objectively, fairness and his rights are protected.
“You treat people differently depending on your race, your gender or your political affiliation. This is what’s going on in the trial room. To ignore him and to say he couldn’t have been a victim is gender stereotyping,” says Eric Sanders.
Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., filed the federal complaint with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Docket No.: 18 cv 5353 on September 24, 2018.
ABOUT THE SANDERS FIRM, P.C.
The Sanders Firm, P.C. offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rights, civil service rights, criminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. We are your voice for justice!
Eric Sanders, Esq.
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