Manhattan DA Indicts NYPD Defendants in Firm's McCoy Case on Unrelated Matter

Yesterday Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced the indictment of two NYPD detectives:

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As detailed in an article published earlier today on Gothamist, the indicted officers are also defendants in the firm's McCoy case.

 A video still captures the detectives indicted in Manhattan falsely arresting firm client Roosevelt McCoy in Queens.

A video still captures the detectives indicted in Manhattan falsely arresting firm client Roosevelt McCoy in Queens.

In an ongoing case that is perhaps the most egregious, both Neve and Desormeau are accused of involvement, and the city stopped defending them midway through, leaving the task to Detectives' Endowment Association lawyers. In that case, a man named Roosevelt McCoy says that in 2014, the cops pulled him out of a restaurant in Jamaica, Queens, searched him without cause, arrested him without cause, strip-searched him at the precinct, and even though they found nothing on him, charged him with selling drugs, saying they had seen him make a sale and found drugs on him. Unable to make bail, McCoy spent 52 days on Rikers Island, and the Queens District Attorney's Office did not drop the charges until a year and seven months later.

The city recently agreed to pay out $547,500 in that case, and the claims against the two cops as individuals are ongoing.

None of the civil rights lawyers who worked on the cases against Neve and Desormeau were shocked.

"I'm not surprised, because the conduct that’s described in the DA’s press release is strikingly similar to the conduct that is at issue in the Roosevelt McCoy case," said McCoy's lawyer Gabriel Harvis. "What we’re talking about is a very disturbing betrayal of the public trust. We all rely on the integrity of police officers out in the street, and when they start making things up out of thin air, nobody’s safe."

Police misconduct is common enough that whole law firms can survive almost exclusively on civil suits focused on it. And though juries and judges sometimes formally find officers' statements incredible, criminal prosecutions of police officers for false statements are rare. "You can count on one hand the number of perjury prosecutions that have been brought," said Harvis, who has run a civil rights practice for about a decade and previously worked for the city Law Department.

Read the full article here.

The indictment was also covered by The New York Times and the Daily News.