The NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board is prosecuting an officer for a wrongful stop and frisk, the first time it has ever done so, according to the New York Daily News.
Brooklyn resident Yahnick Martin claims he was waiting for his wife outside a Bedford-Stuyvesant building while she was delivering Christmas presents on Dec. 23, 2011. Suddenly, three officers approached Martin, alleging they smelled marijuana on him (Martin was smoking a cigar at the time).
After searching his pockets, Martin began complaining about the stop.
“OK. I’ll put my hands up but this is really bulls–t,” he says he told them. One officer, Roman Goris, removed a lighter and wallet from Martin’s pockets before handing them back. Martin said he then noticed some money in his wallet was missing.
“Where’s the $100 that was in my pocket?” he asked, as Goris and his colleagues were walking away. This apparently irked Goris, who returned his attention to the married father and began arguing with him.
Martin asked Goris for his badge number and name. “You want to be a smartass and make accusations, you’re going to jail,” he says one of the officers told him.
Goris then handcuffed Martin tightly and took him to a nearby precinct, court papers allege. The officers refused a request by Martin to wait for his wife, because their car was parked nearby with the keys inside and the engine still running. By the time Martin’s wife returned, the car was gone, the papers said. Martin received a summons for disorderly conduct that was eventually thrown out. This March, he filed lawsuits against Goris and the NYPD.
The review board answered an abuse of authority complaint Martin filed earlier this year. In addition to prosecuting the disciplinary trial against Goris, the CCRB also has the authority to offer recommendations for his sentence.
This power comes as a result of the NYPD granting the board more authoritative oversight this past spring. Before hand, they simply forwarded their findings to the department; a departmental prosecutor would then present the case to a judge.
“I’m glad the CCRB is taking this role.” said Alan Levine, Martin’s lawyer. Though the board has more pull, the police commissioner still has to authorize any punishments, and has the power to alter them at his desire.
“He’s contesting all the allegations against him and is looking forward to his opportunity to be heard.” commented Mitch Garber, Goris’ lawyer for Martin’s lawsuit.