So far this year, the city’s Office of Police Complaints has issued rulings on four cases of alleged police misconduct. In each case, the complaint czars ruled against the police. We’re running down the rulings, drawing what lessons they hold for working cops. Here’s the last in a series:
Summary of Complaint No. 03-0410: On the evening of May 27, 2003, the complainant alleged that an officer “harassed him by stopping him during an identification check” in the parking lot of the Greenleaf Gardens public-housing property. The housing police officer frisked the complainant after he objected to the officer’s “allegedly demeaning and hostile tone towards him.” The sweep, according to the OPC report, was planned by the housing police in an effort to crack down on drug sales in the lot. They were ordered to stop anyone in the parking lot and ID them in order to determine who actually lived in the project.
The officer allegedly put his hands on complainant’s “upper body to force him into a frisk position.” The man raised his fists to object, according to the OPC report. The two then “briefly tussled.”
Charges of demeaning language and excessive force were dropped. But the OPC did determine that the harassment allegation warranted further investigating. The review board found no credible reason for the frisk.
Date of Ruling: March 2
Allegations Sustained: Harassment
Lesson: Save the ID checks for bars and government buildings.