Two Queens crime victims whose circumstances had been dealt with by an NYPD detective who made up faux witness names and addresses to shut 22 investigations instructed the Day by day Information they had been surprised by the revelations.
“It looks like everybody on the high knew and nobody did something about it. That’s ridiculous,” stated Shivani Collado, 31, who was the sufferer of a automotive break-in and theft in Could 2012.
“What if it was one thing extra critical? There are good cops on the market, there are nice detectives, however when you may have a scenario like this, the neighborhood goes to really feel like cops don’t do something,” she stated. “Somebody ought to be taking accountability.”
Rice, 44, made up dozens of pretend names and addresses on 22 grand larceny and auto theft circumstances in Ozone Park between 2011 and 2012. Then a member of the 106th Precinct Detective Squad, Rice would fake he’d interviewed witnesses and tracked down leads — however the detective work solely existed on paper.
When his fraud was found by the NYPD, it by no means acquired referred to the Queens district legal professional’s workplace, the company stated.
Rice acquired to maintain his job and his detective rank. As a slap on the wrist, he acquired a switch to the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn and the lack of 20 trip days. Now a 19-year veteran, he stays with the NYPD.
The Information has discovered that the circumstances had been presupposed to be reopened by Queens South detectives in 2013 and the victims had been presupposed to be interviewed once more, however that by no means occurred, in line with sources.
Collado and one other sufferer, Romeo Hitlall, 41, stated nobody from the NYPD has ever reached out or provided an apology.
“I simply need them to do one thing about it,” Collado stated. “There’s nothing you are able to do for me at this level. However I really feel like in that neighborhood, … you want people who find themselves going to do their job and do the investigation and look into issues … not simply flip a blind eye.”
Hitlall, whose beloved $6,500 bracelet was stolen in Could 2012, stated The Information’ exposé of Rice was “troublesome.”
“The best way the scenario was dealt with was incorrect however not less than they’re transferring ahead and searching into it a lot deeper,” he stated.
Since The Information revealed Rice’s historical past, the NYPD and the Queens district legal professional’s workplace have opened up investigations into his actions, how his case was initially dealt with — and if such misconduct occurred elsewhere.
The Information has discovered that it was then-Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski who closed the preliminary NYPD investigation into Rice’s sloppy police work.
Pulaski, who now instructions Miami Seashore detectives, had insisted in Monday’s Information that he rapidly turned the case over to the Inner Affairs Bureau.
“Following NYPD coverage, after I discovered of the misconduct, I promptly referred the matter to Inner Affairs,” he stated. “From that time ahead, they dealt with the matter. I had no position in deciding whether or not the case ought to be referred to the Queens DA’s workplace.”
Nonetheless, the timeline doesn’t bear that assertion out.
Rice’s misconduct started in December 2011 and prolonged by December 2012. Pulaski was notified of the case in January 2013.
He ordered the case closed as “partially substantiated” 9 months afterward Oct. 24, 2013, in line with a doc obtained by way of an Inner Affairs supply.
Pulaski concluded Rice ought to obtain disciplinary expenses, relatively than have the case despatched to prosecutors for a prison probe.
A supply with direct information of the case stated that in the course of the investigation, its particulars had been mentioned and reviewed with IAB a number of instances as a part of the IAB Steering Committee course of. The NYPD Advocate’s Workplace additionally would have reviewed the case to be able to put together disciplinary expenses, the supply stated.
IAB would have made the choice to refer the case for prison prosecution, the supply insisted.
Regardless of NYPD protestations that qc had been in place, a sergeant who oversaw Rice’s work admitted no measures had been there to catch the misconduct, The Information has discovered.
Sgt. Louis Balsamo, then a 21-year NYPD veteran with the 106th Precinct Detective Squad, underwent an official division interview in 2013 to elucidate his oversight of Detective Thomas Rice’s circumstances, the doc stated.
Throughout the interview, he stated there have been no high quality management measures to make sure that addresses and names of witnesses in studies really exist.
He added that he didn’t audit the accuracy of canvasses himself — which as soon as once more raises questions on what fraud protections have been carried out, and whether or not the NYPD would know if related misconduct occurred elsewhere in its detective bureau.
It stays unclear whether or not Police Commissioner James O’Neill will order a brand new process that lays out what the NYPD is meant to do when contacting prosecutors in circumstances of police misconduct. He known as that loophole “an important concern” Wednesday.
An NYPD official stated the operative coverage exists within the Inner Affairs information, however had but to supply a replica of the textual content.
Michael Palladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Affiliation, stated the union had “aggressively” advocated for Rice.
“I don’t condone what occurred however he was punished appropriately regardless of The Information’ rhetoric on the contrary,” Palladino stated.