Last Thursday, Officers Kenneth Moreno, 43, and Franklin Mata, 29, of the New York Police Department (NYPD) were
acquitted on charges of raping a fashion production executive, in a case symbolizing the abysmal level of police corruption and abuse within the department.
In the aftermath of this odious case the question is: how long will the criminality within the NYPD be condoned by City Hall and New York City’s citizens? What must be done to stop criminal cops?
“I have waited two and half years for closure that will now never come,” said the now 29-year-old alleged victim, this past Wednesday. “Hearing that verdict brought me to my knees; it brought me back to my bedroom that awful night when my world was turned upside down by the actions of two police officers who were sent there to protect, but instead took advantage of their authority and broke the law.”
The case stemmed from events occurring on December 7, 2008. On that night, the officers were called to assist the drunken woman out of a taxi, as she was returning to her East Village apartment. But the woman, now living in
California, alleges Officer Moreno raped her that night, after she had returned home from a Brooklyn bar. She had been celebrating a job promotion.
“I couldn’t believe that two police officers who had been called there to help me had instead raped me and left me face down in a pool of vomit in my bed to die,” the victim said in her testimony. She maintained Officer Moreno violated
her while she was semi-conscious. Officer Mata was the alleged lookout was said to have fallen asleep on the woman’s sofa—the officers made repeated trips to the woman’s East Village apartment.
The officers were seen entering the victim’s apartment three times—they took her keys—by surveillance cameras. Officer Moreno, apparently, even faked a 911 call to return to the woman’s pad. But these officers insist they did nothing wrong.
In fact, Officer Moreno claimed he was only trying to help the intoxicated woman and counsel her, since he once had a drinking problem. He admitted to singing a Bon Jovi song and “snuggling” with the woman but said he didn’t have sex with
her, although, he claims she offered him sex.
After the acquittal, Officer Moreno again declared no rape happened. He said the woman was “mistaken and confused,” and “made the whole thing up.” In response, to the victim’s statement this week, Officer Moreno’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina said, “We are a nation of laws; not mob justice. It was the jury, and not the ‘public,’ that heard all the testimony in this case, including that of the accuser, and rendered a verdict consistent with the evidence and law.”
The outrages here are too numerous to mention. Question: how many African-American males, do you think, are in prison—right now—for rape convictions with less evidence than was available in this case? For example, the Central Park Five –five young Black teenagers– were railroaded into prison based on the manipulated confessions of the teenagers and the uproar created by influential imbecils like Donald Trump who paid for lynch-mob type advertisements in the major newspapers.
Could it be in some cases America forgets “We are a nation of laws; not mob justice?” as Tacopina would have us believe?
Now, perhaps, from an evidentiary standpoint the jury can, somehow, justify finding these depraved officers innocent. Although, it should be noted Officer Moreno was caught on tape admitting to the victim that he wore a condom. Yet, he
mendaciously says he lied because he didn’t want the victim to go into his precinct and make a scene. Sure sounds innocent doesn’t he?
Would this jury have rendered this verdict if these defendants weren’t cops? The NYPD can get away with anything—including murder. The cases of Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo are two examples. So why should we be surprised NYPD officers can get away with rape? Haven’t they done so before? Isn’t this verdict the logical conclusion given the horrendous judgment in the Michael Mineo Case?
In that scandalous affair, Mr. Mineo was sodomized with a blunt object on a subway platform in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on Oct. 15, 2008 by Officer Richard Kern. Officer Kern had been chasing Mineo for, allegedly, smoking marijuana. Blacks and Latinos are singled out for marijuana arrests by the NYPD. Mr. Mineo is a Latino. During that case, ample evidence was produced to prove Officer Kern’s assaulted Mineo—in a manner eerily similar to Officer Justin Volpe’s attack on Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in 1998.
First, there was the retractable police baton with Mineo’s DNA on it. Then, there was the testimony of a doctor who examined Mineo’s injuries and found that, indeed, he was sodomized. Then, there was the testimony of transit Officer
Kevin Maloney who witnessed Officer Kern sodomizing Mr. Mineo.
After all of that, how can one explain the inexplicable not guilty verdict in that case? The harsh reality is the “justice” system, in New York City, is rigged to allow criminality in the NYPD. Criminally inclined cops know this.
Some people will point out that officers Moreno and Mata were fired after the trial. They were found guilty of official misconduct. However, these police perverts got off lightly.
Until City Hall and NewYorkers take these wrongdoings perpetrated by NYPD seriously, they will continue. The NYPD just can’t be trusted to police itself.