FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, August 17, 2016 – New York Civil Rights Attorney Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., representing several karaoke bar owners in Flushing files a $300 million dollar lawsuit claiming the NYPD and SLA are engaging in selection enforcement and intimidation actions to force them to not cooperate with the ‘Karaoke Bar Protection Scandal’ investigation
According to the lawsuit, the owners of 360 LOUNGE, LLC; FORBIDDEN CITY NY INC. and HOME RUN KTV, INC., who are Asian, allege that on or about December 8, 2015, the former commanding officer of the 109th Precinct Thomas Conforti’s subordinates’ Lieutenant Robert Sung and Detective Yatyu Yam, were arrested and charged by the District Attorney, County of Queens with accepting bribes from several karaoke club owners in exchange for notifying them about scheduled police raids. The owners claim, there are other police officers under investigation.
The owners claim Police Commissioner William J. Bratton unhappy about the ‘Karaoke Bar Protection Scandal’ impact upon his legacy, engaged in a concerted effort to intimidate them and other witnesses into not cooperating with the criminal investigation of police officers using the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau and other federal, state and local government agencies. They claim Police Commissioner Bratton engaged in similar tactics during the ‘Dirty 30’ Scandal. Traditionally, according to the claims, persons of color and disenfranchised Caucasians are the victims of police corruption.
Since Late 2014, the owners claim on numerous occasions using the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, State Liquor Authority and other government agencies subjected them to so-called ‘Business Inspections,’ resulting in major disruptions of their businesses, arrests of employees’ and patrons, scaring customers away, according to the lawsuit. They also claim on several occasions’, government officials seized their video equipment which supports their legal claims.
On January 8, 2016, Conforti, NYPD Lieutenant William J. Seeger and State Liquor Authority Beverage Control Officer Charles Stravalle are accused of entering Forbidden City under the guise of a ‘Business Inspection’ resulting in an employee being arrested for maintaining ‘improper business records.’ The next day, according to the lawsuit, Conforti, Seeger and Stravalle entered Home Run KTV under the same guise this time resulting in an arrested patron agreeing to exchange cellular telephone numbers with Seeger.
Several days later, apparently Seeger accidentally dialed the arrested patron and was recorded having a conversation with another member of the Internal Affairs Bureau where he acknowledged Conforti has a ‘hit list’ and the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North Assistant Chief Diana L. Pizzuti in his view is corrupt, according to the lawsuit. The owners shared this recording with the patrons who were arrested in their establishments, they in turn through their defense counsel informed the District Attorney’s Office and their charges were either dismissed or pled down.
On January 15, 2016, members of the NYPD were recorded on video surveillance entering the 360 Lounge while closed, searching throughout the premise. When the owner complained to Conforti, the NYPD Legal Bureau responded claiming they had permission to enter from another storeowner, according to the lawsuit.
“Here, we have all of this legislative reform regarding police corruption in New York City, yet the public still suffers. In this matter, no one knows the depth of the police corruption in the ‘Karaoke Bar Protection Scandal.’ Certainly, my clients’ feel the Mayor, Police Commissioner and District Attorney are simply waiting for everything to blow over, and then close the criminal case, handling everything within the NYPD as in other police scandals. The ‘Karaoke Bar Protection Scandal’ should be referred to the New York State Attorney General and/or the Department of Justice for investigation,” says Eric Sanders.
360 Lounge, LLC, Forbidden City NY and Home Run KTV, et al., filed their $300 Million Dollar federal civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on August 17, 2016, Docket No.: 16 cv 4590.
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.
President and Owner, The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 212-652-2782