It’s happening: The Civilian Complaint Review Board, an
independent police misconduct agency that was recently awarded the
power to prosecute NYPD officers, is making
its first prosecution for misapplied
officer, Roman Goris, has been charged with abuse of power and
using stop-and-frisk without legal authority. The charges stem from
an incident two years ago in which Goris detained and issued
disorderly conduct summonses to a man for what seems like his
On December 23, 2011, Goris and two other officers approached
Yahnick Martin, a 35-year-old, black, real estate broker who was
smoking a cigar on a Brooklyn sidewalk, waiting for his wife to
finish delivering Christmas presents. The officers accused
Martin of smelling like marijuana and said they would need to
search his pockets. According to the
New York Daily News, Martin did not take kindly to the
“OK. I’ll put my hands up but this is really bulls–t,” Martin
says he told them. Goris pulled out his wallet and lighter, and
finding nothing else, handed them back to Martin and started to
Martin says he [sarcastically] quipped, “Where’s the $100 that
was in my pocket?”
Goris wasn’t amused, court papers say. He started arguing with
the married dad, who then asked him for his name and shield number.
“You want to be a smartass and make accusations, you’re going to
jail,” another of the officers allegedly responded.
Goris, 33, then handcuffed him “very tightly” and they took him
to the 77th Precinct, court papers say.
As he was being hauled off, Martin says he asked the officers to
wait until his wife came back to their unlocked car, which was
filled with Christmas gifts and had been left running with the keys
in the ignition. According to the lawsuit, an officer
allegedly told him,
“That’s too bad, you should have thought of that before being a
When Martin was allowed to return to the scene — after being
issued two disorderly conduct summonses that were eventually
dropped — his car and gifts were gone.
Police recovered Martin’s
van several weeks later, but by that time, the thief had stolen the
presents and ran up charges on Martin’s wife’s credit card.
Additionally, the van rental company charged him $800 for damage to
Martin is suing Goris and the NYPD for $2 million in
In addition to Martin’s lawsuit, Goris may actually be
disciplined for his alleged misconduct. This is a result of a city
agreement reached last year that gives
the CCRB the authority to prosecute in police misconduct
The CCRB is an all-civilian board tasked with investigating
complaints about alleged misconduct among NYPD officers. For two
decades, the organization was charged exclusively with
substantiating complaints for legitimacy and issuing
recommendations to the NYPD for how the offending officers should
be prosecuted or disciplined.
Critics had called the CCRB’s power to effectively punish police
misconduct into question. According to studies,
the majority of police misconduct allegations against the
NYPD do not result in trials. Of the substantiated complaints
that do reach trial, few
are prosecuted and judges often dole out lighter
punishments than those recommended.
Following the city agreement though, the CCRB will likely try to
increase the rate at which substantiated claims are prosecuted.
Their new prosecutorial unit started
receiving cases in April and has its first trials
scheduled for this month.
However, the trials still use a judge employed by the police
department and the NYPD Commissioner gets
the final say in all verdicts. With this power, the police
department still gets to issue the ultimate ruling in officer
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/19/first-nypd-officer-being-prosecuted-for