Alleged police-sodomy victim Mineo sues city
Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:39 p.m.
A man who alleges that NYPD officers at sodomized him a sub-way station is suing for $220 million in a civil suit against the NYPD and the city. The victim, Michael Mineo, made the announcement last Thursday.
In October 2008, Mineo, 24, claims that when Officers Richard Kern, Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales confronted him at the Prospect Park subway station in Brooklyn, he was sodomized with a retraceable baton. The officers stopped Mineo because of suspicions that he was smoking marijuana.
Mineo was hospitalized twice for anal injuries. Lab tests proved that Mineo's DNA was found on Officer Kern's baton. All three of the officers involved were indicted after the case was heard before a grand jury in December. Reports indicate that since the incident, Mineo claims that it is difficult for him to stand up or sit down, making it hard for him to find steady work at his job as a tattoo artist.
"I think this presents an opportunity to address police brutality with an eye towards reform," said Mineo's attorney, Stephen Jackson. "The case represents an important opportunity to address those issues. The evidence is compelling, and it's a very strong. Its important in terms of the movement because we've been fighting these cases for decades."
At a press conference last week in front of the U.S. courthouse in Brooklyn, Mineo said that he is "embarrassed" and that the officers raped him. He also said that he wished the incident never happened. The civil case is set to get underway in July.
The officers are expected to go on trial in September. If convicted, Kern faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison for charges of aggravated sexual misconduct, while Cruz and Morales could face up to four years in prison for charges that include misconduct and attempting to conceal the incident. Kern has a history of use of excessive force and has cost the city a total of $50,000 in police brutality lawsuits.