Did you know that New York City paid $550 million in lawsuits during the 2011 fiscal year? That is $70 from every resident in the New York area. Taxpayers are paying at least $185 million for NYPD lawsuits alone! Well, there is yet another lawsuit against the NYPD, because of racial profiling that comes along with searching and frisking.
It’s quite suspicious that, Co-Founder of Reddit and RSS, Aaron Swartz, committed suicide this weekend in his Brooklyn, NY apartment. It’s even more disturbing to hear that he had been facing charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act where he could have been potentially seeing 35 years in prison and up to $1 million dollars in fines.
This week New York’s Fire Department hit headlines with a civil rights issue that has everyone heated! The FDNY decided to administer a new entrance exam in an effort to hire new firefighters for the first time in 5 years. However, some of the existing New York firefighters feel that the FDNY are pandering to minorities by lowering the standards of the entrance exam to accommodate diversity. The FDNY’s lack of racial diversity has been a subject of ridicule for the past several years. There is no doubt that the diversity in the FDNY is surprisingly pitiful, 91% white, and only 3% black, shocking I know! But the department is walking a fine line between promoting equal employment opportunity and tilting the scales to help minorities. Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that “retroactive seniority and priority hiring of 293 minorities” would begin “immediately”. This decision caused an uproar resulting in 200 firefighters protesting outside of the courthouse in Brooklyn, NY.
Rabbi Mordchai Fish, of Brooklyn, New York, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for laundering nearly a million dollars. In early 2008, Fish accepted checks to charities in New York and New Jersey from admitted Ponzi schemer and FBI informant Solomon Dwek. The charities, including Boyoner Gemilas Chesed, Beth Pinchas, and Levovous, are called “gemachs”, groups intended to give money to people in need. Instead, the cash went straight back to Dwek, freshly laundered, with Fish keeping a nice 10% commission for himself in the process. Too bad Dwek was wired up and handing Fish bait money provided by the FBI. Over two years, Fish and Dwek, with the latter informing all the while, laundered more than $900,000, a crime punishable by a maximum 20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000. Fish swam by the recommended 57-month sentence from Judge Joel Pisano, receiving a lower sentence because of his work in the Orthodox community.
If there’s one subset of the American public on whom corrupt police officers might want to go easy re: civil rights violations, it would probably be civil rights lawyers. Unfortunately, some overzealous Brooklyn cops didn’t get the memo. In 2008, Sgt. Steven Talvy tackled a man in the course of an arrest and, after shackling the now-subdued, peaceful, and compliant man, kicked him right in the face. This excessive force was witnessed by Michael and Evelyn Warren, the aforementioned civil rights lawyers, who then approached Talvy and informed him that he was being pretty brutal as an officer of the law, suggesting that he take the suspect to the precinct instead of, say, beating him to within an inch of his life. After weighing this constructive criticism for a moment, Talvy flew into a rage, punching them both repeatedly in the face and arresting them for “disorderly conduct”.