News

NY’s Finest Call Alleged Sodomy Victim ’Faggot’ in Court

by Kilian Melloy
Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

It's the sort of story that one only hopes cannot be true: a Brooklyn man has taken several New York City police officers to court, alleging that they sexually assaulted him with a police baton in a subway station last October.

Media accounts last Oct. related that Michael Mineo, a 24-year-old tattoo artist, said that he was approached last Oct. 15 by several police officers after leaving his home to go to work.

Fleeing the police, Mineo headed for Prospect Park subway station, where the officers allegedly caught up to him, forced him onto the floor, held him down, and anally raped him with a police baton.

After the alleged assault, Mineo claimed, the officers took him to a police car an issued him a citation.

The police said they approached Mineo because they spotted him smoking marijuana. They denied that any sexual assault took place.

A Dec. 9 article in the New York Daily News said that Mineo faced his alleged attackers in court, and that the police officers uttered anti-gay epithets at him.

The article said that the officers called Mineo a "faggot" in the courtroom during their arraignment, and that Mineo responded by applauding them and blowing kisses their way.

The article quoted Mineo as saying, "I relive [the alleged assault] every day."

Added the 24-year-old, "I'm too young to be going through this. Nobody should be going through this."

Charges were brought against Officer Richard Kern in the attack. If convicted, the article said, Kern could face 25 years in prison.

Two other officers, Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales, stood accused of covering up the alleged assault. If convicted, they could each received up to four years in jail, the article said.

Cruz's lawyer dismissed Mineo's claim, saying it did not constitute so much as a "paper-thin case," but the court heard that tests showed DNA belonging to Mineo had been found on the baton in question.

The article quoted Patrick Lynch, the chief of the police union, as calling for a judgment to be withheld while the court completed the hearing.

Said Lynch, "We have earned the benefit of a doubt with our blood and sacrifice."

Charles Hynes, the District Attorney for Brooklyn, outlined the sequence of events Mineo claimed took place. Police saw Mineo smoking marijuana, and approached him; Mineo fled, entering the subway station and jumping over a turnstile; police then allegedly caught Mineo and pressed him to the floor, handcuffing and assaulting him, and then telling Mineo that he would face felony charges if he spoke out about the experience.

Mineo later called his boss, who took him to the hospital. Mineo's underwear was wet with blood; an Oct. 23 New York Times article stated that an unnamed source acknowledged that Mineo had suffered rectal bleeding, but added that the source denied that the bleeding was due to any attack by police officers.

Attorney Stephen Jackson, representing Mineo, was quoted in that article as saying that his client had "sustained serious injuries to the rectal area and internally."

Jackson added, "The wounds are very serious and very nasty and are going to require extensive rehab and treatment, as well as psychological treatment."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


Comments

  • Rico, 2008-12-10 22:02:30

    Kilian, you fucking moron - why is this a story that in your usual ridiculous prose you call one "that one only hopes cannot be true?" Why, it’s a story made in Wonderland - a New York liberal jury will surely award this guy millions and make the rest of his life a breeze. God, one could only hope it happens to you, then you wouldn’t have to spend your life spewing the daily crap you call "reporting."


  • , 2008-12-11 08:58:14

    This crime is a symptom of the War on Drugs! The illegal status of cannabis (marijuana) enables abuse of citizens who aren’t causing anyone else harm. Mineo is a victim in the US government’s War on Americans who use drugs. The FBI’s own statistics prove that more people (over 800,000/year) are arrested for cannabis than for ALL violent crimes COMBINED!!! That’s all arrests for murder, rape, robbery, etc. Is this a proper use of the justice system when this country has a higher murder rate than other industrialized nations? When one in four women are the victim of sexual abuse?! Many of these arrests occur right in NY City, where there is a high population of people and many of them are arrested for public use of the herb, which is a misdemeanor. Possession has been decriminalized for over 30 years; 25 grams or less is a violation that does not require arrest; just a court appearance ticket. Getting caught in the act of smoking is a lot worse for people in NY City. If cannabis were legal, there would not be this opportunity for police to abuse people who are harming no one!


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