NYPD Officer Fails To Get Indicted After Falsely Arresting Black Man & Lying On Complaint
The blue shield is strong for one cop who seems to have a pattern of profiling Black people for arrests.
According to New York Daily News, NYPD Officer Xavier Gonzalez falsely arrested a Black financial planner on pick pocketing charges then lied in a complaint about what a witness said. He has yet to face disciplinary actions for the false arrest nor charges from the Manhattan District Attorney.
The situation went down in Harlem at the Lexington Ave. subway station back in June 2016. Gonzalez handcuffed investment adviser Darrell Williams, and accused him of picking the pockets of a straphanger and an undercover cop on a northbound 4 train, according to the criminal complaint. Gonzalez was working undercover on the train.
Williams was on his way to meet a client, dressed in a suit with his phone in one hand and his briefcase in the other.
Gonzalez, who joined the NYPD in 2010, said in arrest documents that paint shop clerk Anthony Osei, who was on the train, had claimed that Williams stole his phone. However, Osei told the Daily News that this was false. He said he had also explained to cops and prosecutors that this wasn’t true.
When Williams sued the city and NYPD over the arrest, Osei swore in an affidavit that Gonzalez hadn’t even spoken to him and that the statement attributed to him was false:
“I defended him (Williams) because it was the right thing to do,” Osei said. “A cop came up to me and said, ‘Did he take your phone?’ I said, ‘No, I have my phones and wallet.’ Two weeks later, I get a call from the prosecutor. I told them the same thing.”
Williams’ lawyer Joel Berger said, “The evidence is overwhelming that Gonzalez simply fabricated the allegations against my client, Darryl Williams, near the end of Gonzalez’s tour of duty so that Gonzalez could earn overtime.” Gonzalez, who was promoted to detective in December 2017, has stacked up $35,871.41 in OT in 2018 and $31,185.54 in OT in 2017, above his $94,000 annual salary.
A process called “arrest overtime” is applied when an arrest is made near the end of an officer’s shift. It’s a coveted bonus considering the overtime drives up an officer’s annual salary, and subsequently their pension.
Williams was working for the Sanitation Department and was catering to private clients when he was arrested. His financial license was suspended for two months and he was scrutinized by Sanitation, where he was an employee for two decades. Williams said he spent $1,500 on a lawyer, and eventually the charges were dismissed after two months.
However, entries mentioning his arrest still remain in a financial industry database called BrokerCheck. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said criminal charges must be revealed to FINRA, and they ultimately appear in BrokerCheck. They said there are procedures to removing charges from a broker’s record and they’re currently looking into Williams’ case.
Once Williams’ case was thrown out and sealed by the courts, he filed his lawsuit, which the city settled for $100,000. The now-retired 60-year-old said the whole experience has left him anxious around cops and he won’t even ride the subway unless his wife is with him.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez is still in the field assigned to the Brooklyn Special Victims division.
When the DA moved for dismissal on Williams’ case against Gonzalez, the prosecutor Daniel Makofsky said the case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, according to a hearing transcript.
“If you can’t get the DA to indict on these facts, what’s it going to take?” Berger said. “They covered it up. The DA’s office admits they never kept any notes about their conversation with Osei. All they do is dismiss the case, but they make no record of why.” Berger said it was actually Gonzalez’s partner, Officer Ronald Cobilich, who actually questioned Osei, and even Cobilich said under oath that Osei had not accused Williams of any crime. In a deposition, Gonzalez admitted that he didn’t speak to Osei on the platform before the arrest, even though his criminal complaint said that he did.
“This case vividly demonstrates the failure of the city’s prosecutors to do anything about police lying,” Berger said.
This isn’t the first time Gonzalez has been accused of a false arrest either. A 66-year-old postal worker, Leonard Kelley, said in a lawsuit that he was falsely arrested by Gonzalez back in 2015. Kelley was going home from an all-night shift when Gonzalez arrested him at Union Station for jostling, or bumping up against another person like a pick pocketer might.
Kelley told Daily News, he felt “humiliated” when he was paraded through the station in handcuffs. “I just thought I was being singled out for no reason,” he said. “There was no reason for me to be arrested. I’m a homeowner. I’m a law abiding citizen. But he was hell bent on doing what he did. I’m a black male and I felt like I was being profiled.” Kelley’s arrest was dismissed a few months later, and the arrest paperwork didn’t even include a victim’s name. The city paid $25,000 to settle his lawsuit.