Feds bust 'racist' NYPD cop in false arrest rap
Federal prosecutors nabbed a veteran cop Monday for allegedly trumping up charges against a black man and lying on the police report, and then later bragging that he “fried another n-----.”
The criminal complaint, unsealed in Brooklyn federal court, alleges that officer Michael Daragjati, 32, violated the civil rights of an unnamed 31-year-old man when he stopped and frisked him on April 15 in Staten Island.
Daragjati, who is white, frisked the alleged victim, but found no weapons, according to the report. As the man walked away, he shouted “insults” at the cop – prompting Daragjati to arrest him without incident.
But in the police report, Daragjati charged the man with resisting arrest, harassment and disorderly conduct. He also claimed the man kicked and flailed while he was arrested, prosecutors said.
The case has touched a nerve with civil rights groups.
Noel Leader, of the 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, said the NYPD needs to better address its stop-and-frisk policy, and minorities may not complain.
“Lock them up,” Leader said of scofflaw officers. “That would send a chilling message to stop the abuses.”
The feds had intercepted text messages and calls between Daragjati and his supervisor in which the officer allegedly lied about the incident.
In another call with a female friend, Daragjati allegedly used racial epithets to describe the man.
Daragjati, who’s been on the force since 2003, was being monitored because he was under investigation for insurance fraud, extortion and beating up a man suspected of stealing a snowplow from his side business. He was also charged with those crimes.
Authorities called such behavior alarming because it “threatened to undermine public trust and respect for law enforcement.”
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the department’s internal affairs unit prompted the investigation, and thanked prosecutors for moving the case ahead “promptly and professionally.”
Daragjati appeared in court Monday but entered no plea. He remains in custody until a bail hearing Wednesday. His lawyer said his client has been suspended.
He faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for the civil rights charge. On the other charges, he could get up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per offense.
Recent NYPD Scandals
-- Last month, a Bronx grand jury voted to charge 17 NYPD officers – including 10 officials in the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association – and five civilians with a wide range of crimes involving misconduct and the “fixing” of more than 300 tickets
-- Former NYPD Officer Wilfredo Rosario was sentenced in 2010 to five years for coercing sexual favors from women while in uniform. Rosario insisted to the Manhattan Supreme Court judge who told him he “stained the reputation” of the NYPD that he had been framed.
-- In August, former NYPD Officer Franklin L. Mata was sentenced to two months for official misconduct. A fashion executive accused Mata of serving as lookout while his partner, ex-NYPD Officer Kenneth Moreno, allegedly raped raped her. Moreno, also convicted of official misconduct, was sentenced to a year. The two officers, who were cleared of rape, are appealing their convictions.
-- Officer Patrick Pogan resigned from the NYPD after a video emerged showing him knock a bicyclist off his bike during a Critical Mass rally in Times Square in 2008. The video contradicted the officer’s earlier account of the incident and he was convicted of filing a false criminal complaint but acquitted of assault. He didn’t receive any jail time.