“Brooklyn teen sues NYPD officer for 2 false arrests”

From John Marzulli, in the Daily News: Brooklyn teen sues NYPD officer for 2 false arrests – NY Daily News.

It’s a deeply disturbing piece for a whole heap of reasons. These lines underneath the photo of Rayquan Callahan, the plaintiff, summarize it well:

Rayquan Callahan says a Brooklyn copy busted him for no reason, so he sued. Then the same cop, Daniel Berardi, busted him again — also for no reason.

I read the entire story with my usual guard against emotional jumps. But I can’t see the other guy’s — the policeman Daniel Berardi’s — side, so to speak.

It’s a bad time for the NYPD to have yet another lawsuit against a cop stopping, searching and, in the case, handcuffing and arresting a black kid for nothing.

By the way, I know Rayquan Callahan’s lawyer, Joel Berger, an excellent long-time civil rights attorney. Joel summarizes the case well when he says, “Never in 45 years of practicing civil rights law have I encountered such a brazen retaliation against a plaintiff by the very officer he has just sued.”

Although it’s important that the NYPD establish — or be forced to establish — different and restrictive rules for stopping and searching, I think the NYPD’s selection procedures, testing and training of police applicants need to be considerably revised if Daniel Berardi is an example of the people NYPD brings into the department.

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