Brooklyn, NY - Lawsuit Filed Holding City Responsible For Alleged Beating Of Black Man In Williamsburg
Last updated on: June 27, 2016 07:38 PM
Brooklyn, NY - A Brooklyn man who was allegedly beaten by members of a Williamsburg’s community patrol filed suit against the City of New York, charging that the overly close relationship between the NYPD and Jewish power brokers contributed to an atmosphere that gave patrol members the confidence to take the law into its own hands without fear of retribution.
The lawsuit brought by Taj Paterson, who was beaten by a group of men in Williamsburg in December 2013, was filed Monday in federal court.
All charges were dropped against plaintiffs Aharon Hollender and Joseph Fried. Plaintiffs Abraham Winkler and Pinchas Braver pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of unlawful imprisonment in May and are expected to be sentenced to three years’ probation and 150 hours of community service in addition to paying $1,400 in restitution to Paterson.
A criminal case against the final plaintiff, Mayer Herskovic who elected not to take the plea deal accepted by Winkler and Braver, will take place in August as previously reported on VIN News (http://goo.gl/hyRwOd).
A copy of the 23 page court filing obtained by the New York Daily News lists plaintiffs in the case as the City of New York, NYPD officers Rodrigo Fernandez, Sergeant Ivan Furda and Sergeant Zaikowski, the Williamsburg Safety Patrol and five Williamsburg men who were arrested for the beating.
The Daily News reported that the lawsuit charges that Shomrim members were in touch with the 90th Precinct, hoping to be able to affect the outcome of the Paterson investigation.
Sergeant Furda, one of the three NYPD officers named in the suit, was docked ten vacation days and transferred out of the 90th Precinct for initially closing the case despite having four witnesses to the assault and two license plate numbers that could have provided leads in the investigation.
The lawsuit charges that Furda’s actions created a 48 hour delay that prevented police from identifying additional suspects and caused evidence in the alleged beating to mysteriously evaporate while witnesses suddenly recanted their testimonies.
The lawsuit also tries to establish a direct connection between the Paterson case and the ongoing NYPD corruption probe, targeting the relationship between high ranking police officials and Jewish businessman who allegedly exchanged favors for bribes.
“The City’s policies have essentially created a private police force with special connections to the NYPD, funded and outfitted by the City, without any supervision of that force,” charges the lawsuit.
That relationship was directly responsible for Paterson’s beating, making the City of New York liable for the defendant’s injuries, alleges the lawsuit.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, one of four elected officials mentioned in the suit who have publicly praised Shomrim for their actions, said that while civilian patrols are an important component of public safety, they are not above the law.
“Any individual that fails to observe those fundamental laws needs to be held accountable,” said Adams.
Correction: In a previous version of this story, VIN news incorrectly reported that James Grant was the commanding officer of the 90th Pct.
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