Yesterday’s NY Post On The Most Dangerous and Damaged Hood In NYC for 50 Straight Years

East New York,Brooklyn- the #1 ranked worst neighborhood in literally every single quality of life category- from arrests to suicides to cirrhosis cases, vd cases, child abuse cases, pollution & toxic chemical contaminated sites, police brutality cases, number of homeless shelters, number of drug rehabs, number of sex offenders residing, AIDS deaths, number of incarcerated, and every year the highest number of 7 major felony arrests and number of misdemeanors.

I spent years of my life immersed in East New York for an investigative article and podcast simultaneously launched on Digg/The Week, The Big Roundtable and Apple Podcasts.

The most consequential article I ever wrote.

East New York is likely the worst hood in the United States- impossible to rehabilitate or reform or gentrify because it’s trapped–locked in on 4 borders– acres of graveyards on its northern border, huge toxic Kennesdy Airport on its eastern border, huge polluted Jamaica Bay, landfills and a masssive abandoned old school style institution and campus that used to warehouse all NYC’s developmentally disabled, and a fortresses of numerous massive housing projects in Brownsville (Mike Tyson’s old hood) on its western border.

And a rotting freight train track built around 1899 and all it’s rotting freight cars and the related toxic freight, minerals, electrical circuitry, coal, diesel, oil, copper etc runs through the whole middle of the neighborhood from east to west.

Dear NYPD, Maybe If You Stop Putting Us In Illegal Choke Holds & Beating The Hell Out Of Us We Wouldn’t Splash You With Water. Amazing How You Tough Boys Cry After Getting A Little Wet –Can Just Dish It Out Huh? Can’t Take It

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My face a week after I was choked, gang beaten, cuffed, thrown into a vehicle, punched in the face 4 times while cuffed,and locked away by police from the 114th Precinct for nothing. And the police lied about it all and there was no paperwork on file of any arrest or detention or stop and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

Law Enforcement Breaking the Law (again & again)

Mom Calls Cops to do Welfare Check on Son; Cops Arrive and Sic Police Dog on him– the same cop has been sued on four previous occasions for allowing his police dog to maul innocent people–LvvM3H-6rQ/

For the first time in NYPD history, the formerly secret list of police misconduct, brutality & lawsuits has been made public–It’s horrible to realize the level of corruption, but it’s also the best chance for real police reform.

The name of this legislation is the Community Policing Self-Assessment Tool (CP-SAT)- the NYC Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Database 2015 to June 2018.

It lists the the names of every police officer sued, how many times they’ve been sued, the precincts involved, the money paid out.

The NYPD fought for years to keep this secret – for good reason.

Let’s start with an officer I know by reputation from covering East New York, Brooklyn as a reporter, David Grieco.

Grieco is the city’s second most frequently sued cop. His history of violating the civil rights of Brooklyn residents has come up in 32 known lawsuits, at a cost to taxpayers of $343,252.

He has been accused of putting a minor, an aspiring rapper, in a chokehold, threatening to arrest him (he had him cuffed) if he didn’t freestyle to Grieco’s satisfaction. He’s burst into a home without a warrant and hauling six-year-old twins to a police precinct. And there’s a lot more, currently under criminal investigation.

After spending a dozen years patrolling Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct, East New York— the most-sued precinct in the entire city — Grieco was promoted last year to sergeant, and now works the 67th precinct in East Flatbush. It’s fair to say Grieco no longer gives a fuck; nor do his supervisors– he’s one of the NYPD’s top overtime earners — in 2017, he pulled in $73,000 in overtime, bringing his total salary to $190,000.

Let’s consider the 75th precinct for an audit. The 75th is associated with an astounding $9,227,755 total settlements and 93 Federal lawsuits since 2015. That’s $9 million dollars. These figures are so extraordinary and corrupt and dysfunctional, the next worst precinct in the city is the 73rd, paying out a relatively meager $329,403 on 42 lawsuits. The 75th is also associated with $561,253 known settlements from 26 other lawsuits.

These most corrupt officers on the force, repeatedly sued, still somehow have a job & still have the audacity to milk hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime from the city, the citizens they’re supposed to be protecting,the job, their fellow officers.

Police brass don’t give a damn, they do nothing but punch a pension time clock & let blatant corruption flourish.

Federal Lawsuits Since 2015

Case Name Year Outcome

Here’s a small sampling of 75th officers lawsuits paid:

Connor v. City of New York et al 2015 $7,950,000

Bonner v. City of New York et al 2016 $250,000 James et al v. The City of New

York et al 2015 $149,000

Loftin et al v. City of New York et al ii2015 $66,000

Perez v. The City of New York et al 2015 $57,000

Scott et al v. The City Of New York et al 2017 $52,500

Goins v. City of New York et al 2015 $51,500

Williams v. New York City Police Department Officers “John Doe” 1-3 et al 2015 $50,000

Bido v. City of New York et a 2016 $50,000

And here’s a small sampling of individual 75th officers, the number of times they’ve been sued, for how much, and the overtime vig they collected.

Andre G. Blake 9 lawsuits $94,489 salary, 2018 $20,993 overtime, 2018

David A. Grieco 7 lawsuits $109,360 salary, 2018 $39,334 overtime, 2018

Matthew J. Demaio 6 lawsuits $85,292 salary, 2018 $20,186 overtime, 2018

John D. Diaz 6 lawsuits $90,685 salary, 2018 $20,690 overtime, 2018

Derick L. Russ 6 lawsuits $85,292 salary, 2018 $24,486 overtime, 2018

Melchor J. Alban 5 lawsuits $85,292 salary, 2018 $28,822 overtime, 2018

Michael A. Ardolino 5 lawsuits $85,292 salary, 2018 $35,063 overtime, 2018

Todd T. Hansen 5 lawsuits $85,292 salary, 2018 $36,214 overtime, 2018

Mark A. Scarlatelli 5 lawsuits $94,489 salary, 2018 $16,131 overtime, 2018

William D. Schumacher 5 lawsuits $85,292 salary, 2018 $23,760 overtime, 2018

Robert J. Agate 4 lawsuits $109,360 salary, 2018 $19,065 overtime, 2018

The system is broken when cops with an agenda exploit a high crime precinct and lax or incompetent supervisors (who’ve intentionally been dumped in a place like the 75th) to abuse citizens and make money. A precinct paying out over $9 million in lawsuits? An officer sued 32 times and earning $190,000 dollars?

The trouble is Grieco, not the good cops, not the supervisors, is a role model in the 75th (look at that list of junior Grieco imitators). He’s respected because he’s getting over – that’s a con value, not a cop value.

On Childhood Juggling,Kid Working Out and Me and Eminem’s Mom

When I was a young boy there were not three like objects in my house. There were not three of the same balls  in my house. And my Mom was tight with finances for toys (she didn’t have any when she was a kid; her mother gruffly said “Whaddya need that for” when my mother as a kid heartbreakingly, she said,asked for some paper dolls). So as she went so did we go,toy deprived. I bet Em’s mom at least  bought his ass some Hot Wheels — come clean out my fucked up closet son.

But I was an avid,serious juggler in training doing 3 objects in the advanced Shower Style (I didn’t know better)


Rather than in the meant for beginners Cascade Style


I would juggle oranges and when the skin split I’d put electrical tape on them and put them back in the fridge and be yelled at steadily; what! wasting food glorious food and they were yiddishkeit racists so mommy (as we pathetically mistakenly called her) didn’t bother guilt tripping us on starving shvatza children in Africa.

I also loved working out and the 2+2=4 simplicity of achievement of it. You do it hard it rewards you hard no matter who you are what you do if you’re liked or not talented or not a good boy or not cool or not popular or not friendless.

As Dianne Wiest said of childhood ballet, I liked the “escape from uncertainty” of it.  

Of course I had no weights to lift
so I’d go into my sister’s room when she wasn’t there and in her full length mirror hanging on the door I would watch myself lifting, curling volumes of her World Book Encyclopedia set. Each night I would take a different volume to bed to read.

Shlemiel shlimazl blaring from the TV as my disconsonant soundtrack in the hellish 80s  I was Spartan despite it all holed up on 2 Ethel Court 11798 off of Bagatelle Road (get the  maps up boys) technically once Wyandanch but changed to the fake great manor born Wuthering, sorry, Wheatley, Heights.

On Police Misconduct, an NYPD precinct with extraordinarily high civilian complaint statistics (the 75th), and when you once get wrongly cuffed for six hours to a precinct bench and you once get wrongly assaulted by a police officer in a precinct, there isn’t, wasn’t, a damn thing I could do about it So I wrote this

On Police  Misconduct, an NYPD precinct with extraordinarily high civilian complaint statistics (the 75th), and when you once get wrongly  cuffed for six hours to a precinct bench and you once get wrongly assaulted by a police officer in a precinct, there isn’t, wasn’t, a damn thing I could do about it  So I wrote this

Attached in this post below are screen shots from the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board 2015 annual report

In the report they list every single NYPD precinct in New York City and the number of complaints that have been lodged against each precinct. Here they cite a five year total 2011-2015

Most precincts have 200,300,400 complaints; 500 in a rougher precinct. Two particularly dangerous crime ridden areas in the Bronx patrolled by the 44th and the 40th precincts have 700 complaints. And that’s it, a complete picture of crime and community police relations in the city.

But there’s one glaringly how the hell can this be allowed tolerated (italics mine but they should  be yours and the NYPD’s) exception.

The  75th police precinct of East New York Brooklyn. For that same period it had a number absurdly higher than any other place– 1,344 complaints — you hear, one precinct in one community had 1,344 complaints lodged against it. Almost double the number of those two for real rough precincts in the Bronx .

I know I might be beating a dead horse, I’ve written and reported on East New York a lot.

But what the hell NYPD, CCRB- Garner, chokeholds, stop and frisk  are legitimate  and important issues  bit in some ways they’re individual isolated of a time. This is endemic, its been like this  in East New York since CCRB stats were being  compiled. No sarcasm, but where’s your white paper on this, your New York Lawyers for The Public Interest led civil suit on this, even a damn mention on your website that’s chock full of every imaginable statistical minutiae — a 1,344 complaints against cops in one community.

Commanding Officer of the 75th Michael Lipetri seems like a decent and honorable leader  (as much as you can tell from a twitter account) and the 75th is a hard hard precinct to work.

But sincerely how the heck do you look in the eye  of a decent East New York resident and rationally justifiably explain without apology  1,344 complaints when,say, Murray Hill where my girl lived has 260 complaints for the same period. People don’t  have a right to live like this (on a side note when I was reporting in East New York I could’ve filed legitimate CCRB complaints on different police officers maybe  12 times).

On a larger  side note I got yanked off a Port Authority bus by a group of police officers on some false charge of making a 911 call to endanger East New York police. I was handcuffed to a bench for six hours. When I went back to that precinct a week later as the desk sergeant instructed me in a phone conversation, an officer there whose badge number and name I will never forget – – how do I say this properly — degraded me, taunted me, confiscated destroyed my property, had me on my knees, lies to me, then assaulted the hell out of me hard —  in his precinct right there in Port Authority  with 12 other cops there  who witnessed it.  I’m laying there crumpled on the ground and I said to  him why the hell did you do that? He said because I hit him first. Since I’m not dead or doing  a 2 year bid in Dannemora Correctional, you he and I know that that’s a straight up ugly lie, and coming from a police officer it’s essentially a damn false criminal charge. And God help the defendant who gets this officer on the stand testifying against him.*

I called 911, EMS, Internal Affairs, Port Authority Integrity Unit, CCRB, reported it to another precinct trying to file assault charges – no one ever got back to me, nothing at all happened.  Call the Port Authority Integrity Unit (their version of Internal Affairs) anytime and it just  rings and rings, no one ever answers, they don’t even have voice mail.  I had to leave my complaint with a secretary in administration.

So this heavyweight Port Authority officer got to play UFC with me sending me flying 6 feet thorough the air into a concrete wall (though maybe play UFC is not quite right, when I looked up at him as he was standing over me after the assault his whole body was visibly shaking).

I hope he’s sorry, maybe PTSD, he served  in the military in combat, but at my worst I sometimes imagine he tells the story over beers laughing about what he did to that fucken reporter. No macho on this but if I ever somehow impossibly heard him doing this word is just about bond please  put money on my commissary books because I would proudly do 2 years on the gate on the count in the dayroom etc for that kind of violation.

Seriously these 75th Precinct numbers are too exceptional; something is very wrong at that precinct and command should do something otherwise you’ll have more Michael Dowds running your streets  hurting people, communities, and tarnishing the image of good cops.



















capture_1468544409603~2*On not naming this officer, I know this is not strongly defensible or consistent with how I operate as a journalist  but I can’t bring myself to fuck with him that way, something he would probably do, low-grade coward snitch to hurt or to ruin a man without giving him a chance.   And it’s for a similar reason I went down to the precinct when the sergeant told me to over the phone.  I knew I was walking into a lions den, the desk Sergeant was being obnoxious, game playing hostile. But I went because I hate the idea of being afraid or having to watch myself or call a lawyer to fight in the shadows; not confront them man to man when I did absolutely nothing wrong and they acted so immoraly.  That cop wouldn’t have done it, and I don’t want to be that kind of man.  In fact in between throwing a folder of my papers across the room screaming in my face and body slamming me he told me maybe three times “Get the fuck out of here, call a lawyer.”

But I may be wrong about this, if I had an emergency and to call 911 meant this officer would show up I would just quote NWA and handle it myself. He either learned his lesson after coming close to being burnt (after this happened I raised hell to him and every other cop in the precinct, to 911, to EMS who responded while I was in the precinct (first it was get the fuck out, after the assault they wouldn’t let me leave  even though I said I wanted to repeatedly) called my wife, a lawyer and told her what happened gave the officer’s badge number and spelled out his name all in front of him, them; strong loud and emphatically. Or the cop doesn’t give a damn about a kevin heldman and doesn’t belong on the streets with a gun and extraordinary powers.





























A Memoir: The Old School Rehab; shaved heads, digging your own grave outside, young men forced to wear diapers, donkey costumes, eat baby food, and sit for weeks motionless on a wooden chair with no back

They went quite crazy back then in the name of reforming us; the other aspect of the war on drugs.

Photo: Me at 17 with my buddy, the armed robber, dust patient bisexual, martial arts expert from Hollis, Queens

It was the early 1980s in NYC, around the birth of hip hop and these rehabs (TCs) were a world of prison culture, living in Bronx tenements, sleeping with one eye open, 125th Street in Harlem, Pitkin Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn, dusties detoxing on cranberry juice, the cooker, razor blades in mouths, Nicky Barnes, fresh waves, Five Percenters, Mighty Whiteys from Queens, speedballs, the hole stroll, spades, playing the corner slap boxing, wild like reform school, excessively rigid as a skinner box mixed with super Orwellian behaviorism (forced to constantly inform on each other to staff) — all to treat us misfits, gangstas and burnouts in army jackets and work-boots messing with girls with roach clip feather earrings who were made to wear stocking caps if they broke a rule.

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When You Run Around Afghanistan Alone And in Shirtsleeves While All Around You Your Fellow Americans Are Barricaded, Bunkered, And Bulletproof-Vested Up, This is What You Can Experience

The government, ethnic resentment dynamic seems pretty raw. Power, Karzai was from the south, being bombarded with how bad the government is, how bad the NGOs are – – I don’t know if I’m being used, spun or it’s legitimate resistance fighter rhetoric.

The rural poverty is pretty staggering. The isolation of so many of these villages also staggering — the urban areas, bazaars, mazes of mud huts, little girls carrying water jugs on their shoulders and navigating sharp rock mountains like billy goats, boys standing with naked legs in rivers while I’m bundled up against hypothermia in the SUV.

Then suddenly if you look somewhere else there are palatial structures, gleaming corporate office buildings.Two artillery sounding blasts in Faisalabad, think they were blowing something up intentionally and announced it in Dari over loudspeakers, but ugly sickening sound.

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