May 25, 2016

Cops Seem to be Lying about Beating a Gay Man at a Pride Party at Home





The cops accused of beating up a Brooklyn man at his gay pride house party are changing their stories, the victim’s lawyer says.
Jabbar Campbell was busted on trumped-up charges three years ago, when homophobic cops brutally beat him before a failed attempt to trash his reputation, his lawyer says.
With Campbell now acquitted on all counts, the Daily News has learned the officers in his case provided testimony contradicting both their initial version of the arrest — and their fellow cops.
“The officers involved in this case lied about what happened,” lawyer Eric Subin told the Daily News. “It’s been one lie after another.”
Campbell, who has endured a dozen surgeries since his Jan. 13, 2013, arrest, views the police now as barely better than the people they put behind bars.
“It’s frightening to think about, really,” said Campbell, 35.
The initial police version of the arrest was simple: Campbell was arrested at his gay pride house party in Crown Heights because he shoved a sergeant and resisted arrest. Campbell was injured as police used necessary force to subdue him.
But the tale went topsy-turvy when the cops were questioned by Campbell’s attorney.


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Jabbar Campbell at his previous home at 1313 Sterling Place in Brooklyn on Wednesday April 27, 2016 where he was beaten by police during a party he was hosting three years ago.

 (SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Sgt. Juan Moreno, the supervisor at the scene, provided various sets of facts — sometimes offering different explanations moments apart.
“Listen, I don’t remember the details,” he told Subin during a deposition.
The self-described “sexually liberated” Campbell, who had no criminal record, was throwing a pride party for about 80 friends at his Sterling Place home when cops were called. Police came and left the home at one point, issuing a warning to keep the noise down.
A short time later, at about 3 a.m., police returned and claimed they were told by a man outside that his brother was held captive inside the house. 
As police moved toward the front door, Moreno was seen on surveillance video climbing atop a railing — and then turning the camera lens away from the entrance.
The sergeant later said that when he peered through the door’s window he saw three men, including Campbell, adjusting their waistbands as if they were armed. Moving the lens was done only to deprive the trio of a possible tactical advantage, he insisted.
What happened next depends on the account. Campbell said he descended the stairs amid the commotion and heard Moreno yell “Get him!” and was beaten senseless. The cops mocked him with anti-gay slurs, searched his home without a warrant and arrested him on bogus charges.
Police said Campbell swung his arms wildly, screaming and yelling, as he shoved the muscular Moreno into a hallway wall.
But Campbell was not charged with assault. Instead, he was busted for resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and possession of both marijuana and Ecstasy.
The mysterious brother, if he existed, was never found. Campbell said he had no drugs on him, and those charges were dismissed as he awaited trial on the other counts.
On March 1, 2013, just a few days before the start of the trial, three Brooklyn North Narcotics cops appeared at his home to investigate a complaint of marijuana trafficking.
Subin and Campbell believe the case was concocted by police in a bid to enter Campbell's home and dig up some dirt.
Campbell wasn't home, but his roommates and some friends were.


Police came and left Campbell's home at one point, issuing a warning to keep the noise down.

Police came and left Campbell's home at one point, issuing a warning to keep the noise down.

 (HANDOUT)
No drugs were recovered, though the supervising officer, Capt. Stephen Espinoza said he spied a small ziplock bag of marijuana on a table, and
a man sitting with his back to the door and holding a marijuana joint. The video instead showed the man working at a bank of electronic equipment — without any drugs.
Espinoza refused to back down, even after seeing the video.
"Would you agree with me that the gentleman was not smoking marijuana?" Subin asked during a deposition.
"I agree the video doesn't show it," Espinoza responded. "I would say the video footage is at a certain angle and I distinctly recall before entering the apartment observing the individual smoking a marijuana cigarette at the computer."
Subin said the video also contradicts the contention of another officer, Jonas Bazile. The cop claimed in his deposition that police didn't enter the upstairs apartment until he tried unsuccessfully to determine who lived there — first by speaking with one of the men at the door, then by shouting out to others inside.
"I believed they were trespassers," Bazile said in his deposition.
 "The video doesn't show anyone at the door talking to Officer Bazile," Subin told the News. "The video shows the officers just walking in."
After Campbell filed a CCRB complaint against the narcotics cops, the agency substantiated the allegation that Espinoza approved an unjustified apartment search. The captain was eventually docked 7 vacation days.
Testifying about the house party bust, Officer Michael McManus admitted in his deposition that he was wrong to say in a sworn criminal complaint that he saw Campbell push Moreno — and that he spoke to the man who alleged his brother was a prisoner inside.
It was Moreno — and Moreno only — who alleged Campbell shoved him and claimed to have heard about the man's brother, McManus contended.
“I was a brand new cop,” McManus said. “I definitely made some mistakes in that affidavit.”
Espinoza, Bazile, Moreno and McManus either refused comment or didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Asked if the Law Department has notified police about various testimony discrepancies, an NYPD spokesman said only that there was no Internal Affairs investigation. The Law Department declined comment when asked if it had contacted the NYPD.

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