Sunday, April 21, 2013

Roosevelt Island March And Rally To Protest Reports Of Public Safety Brutality Incidents - NYC Council Member Lappin and NY State Assembly Member Micah Kellner Urge Removal Of Public Safety Director

Image From Olya Turcihin

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee held a march and rally

Image From Olya Turcihin

this afternoon to protest against reported allegations of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department brutality incidents.

Image From Olya Turcihin

The march and rally began at Good Shepherd Plaza with Roosevelt Island elected representatives NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin and NY State Assembly Member Micah Kellner calling for the replacement of current RIOC Public Safety Director Keith Guerra.

Ms. Lappin told the crowd:
... there is no place for brutality on Roosevelt Island or anywhere else. We need to get to the bottom of what has been been happening here but the Roosevelt Island Safety Department is here to protect you, they are here to help you and hanging out is not a crime and quite clearly there is a crisis in confidence so I think we need new leadership and we are here to demand justice...
Mr. Kellner added:
... the Public Safety Department under Director Keith Guerra is no longer legitimate...
... there are investigations, there are audits going on and I think we all know what they are going to find, that he has not been doing things by the book and the fact is we need someone to come in here to rebuild trust within this community, we need somebody to run Public Safety who understands its their job to protect this community. This is not a high crime community. This is a very low crime community so the idea that kids hanging out in front of a store is somehow a great danger is just ridiculous. Mr. Guerra you can go by your own free will or you will be fired but it's time we had a change on Roosevelt Island.
Here's the start of the protest rally at Good Shepherd Plaza and remarks by Ms. Lappin and Mr. Kellner

followed by protesters marching down Main Street.

At the conclusion of the Main Street March, the protesters gathered inside the Good Shepherd Community Center

Image From Olya Turcihin

to hear from a variety of speakers including Civil Rights attorney and former head of the NY Civil Liberties Union Norman Siegel

Image From Olya Turcihin

talk about the 60 year struggle to implement a civilian review board to investigate incident of police brutality.

Prior to Mr. Siegel speaking, RIRA President Ellen Polivy asked the audience for a moment of silence to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, RIRA Public Safety Chair Erin Feeley-Nahem

Image From Olya Turcihin

reviewed the current situation with the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department and a participatory poem was read titled "Ode To Guerra".

Image From Olya Turcihin

Here's what happened.

There were additional speakers including Michael Warren (the attorney for the Central Park 5),

Image From Olya Turcihin

Michael Lamonsoff (the attorney representing Roosevelt Island resident Anthony Jones who was allegedly beaten nearly to death by Public Safety Officers last January),

Image From Olya Turcihin

State Senator Jose Serrano, NYC City Council Candidate Ben Kallos and others. Video from their presentations will be available soon.

Near the end of the rally, Roosevelt Island resident and RIOC Director Michael Shinozaki asked to speak to the audience about what the RIOC has done regarding the allegations of Public Safety Department brutality incidents. Here's what Mr. Shinozaki had to say.

Will have additional video soon.

UPDATE 4/22 -An excerpt from Mr. Shinozaki's remarks yesterday:
... We are investigating, I have read through all the cases you guys have sent ... There is alot of passion in this room as their should but from my standpoint, as an officer of the state, I have to dig through the actual facts. How many number of cases, which officers were involved. We have some excellent officers, we have some good officers, maybe we have some problem officers, but I have to, as an employer as well figure out who's good, who's a problem.

Is this a problem with leadership? Is this a problem with particular officers? I have emails from members of the community saying what a great job Guerra is doing...

I have to look at what are the facts and circumstances of the case...
and video from attorney Michael Warren talking about how to deal with the issue of police brutality, the Civilian Police Review Board process and past cases including that of graffiti artist Michael Stewart.


Eastwood Res said...

I wonder what Michael Kellner would say if a group of people with an agenda got together and said he should be fired. Politicians will forever be politicians. I will believe what you say when some entity finds that they have actually done something wrong. Until then, I will continue to call when those thugs are standing out there in a group, making crude comments to women and bum-rushing the innocent residents who are not part of "the movement" to pretty much represent people who get in trouble and then blame someone else for what they do.

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GeorgeProzakis said...

Wow, political agenda. Very classy in the name of gaining votes.

A politician should keep their trap shut. I am more certain than not that they are the first to call 911 if they see a small group hanging in front of their stoop. Of course they probably live in exclusive doorman buildings or nice homes in Westchester.

That was a bit much.

Chris Enock said...

WOW - Roosevelt Island is a wonderful community that has been going through some tough times with its Public Safety Department. It will be such a relief when our PSD house is in order and we can look to continuing to enhance the quality of life on the island. Thank you to all who have taken so much of their time to really get under the hood and look closely at what's going on here. Here's to moving ahead with positive change!

Mickgirl said...

I think there needs to be training and oversight in place for PSD officers. Obviously changes need to be made, however, I don't think anyone on Roosevelt Island wants the NYPD to take over our public safety on the Island. Be careful what you wish for folks.

YetAnotherRIer said...

I agree with that. It is a bit concerning how those people that supposedly represent us (RIRA, city council members, etc. etc.) already made up their minds what has been happening. I'd love to see what's going to happen if all these accusations are found to be groundless. Will anybody step up and apologize? Doubt it.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer, you complain about minds made up, but you say "Most people who have a very loud opinion against the PSD are people that deserved what they got in the first place". Aren't you guilty of your own complaint? I'm sure the IG report will be clear that Director Guerra didn't personally beat the crap out Anthony Jones, but that doesn't make him a good PSD director. Simply, Keith Guerra has lost the trust of the community, the relationship cannot be repaired, and he did it to himself with the lack of leadership or poor leadership. And he had many helpers, including the RIOC Board, and Urban American, among others.

In other organizations, the boss might say "I think you've done a fine job, it's a tough job, but it just ain't working because of the optics [or politics or whatever], so you need to go because we're not going to make progress while you're still here".

I presume with Kellner and Lappin calling for new leadership, the decision has already been made, it is just a question of When.

Directory Guerra should save himself and just bow out. If he stays, it's only going to get worse for him, and he will have less control.

GeorgeProzakis said...

It was pretty comical to read old school gangster rappers were paid to appear as well as a lawyer that showed up to get clients and the politicians who came to get votes and support.

Class act.

I have nothing against accountability, but from what I have noticed from pictures and video and reading, it's constantly the same people, Captain FF, ms. Neily and Mr.Enock in the front, ok, no problem but its the same people on the back holding signs. Most of whom I can guarantee have bigger records than Sony.

I don't know any of them but its from my experience. Also from my experience the "not my suga" theory exists amongst mothers. Lots of denial

rilander said...

I would like to know what portion/percentage of our monthly rents/co-op maintenance/condo hoa fees go to Roosevelt Island Services and what portion of that goes to fund PSD. Perhaps a fund should be set up so that amount could be deducted and held in escrow each month until Guerra and his cohorts are gone. After all, money talks and b.s. know the rest!

CheshireKitty said...

That's a great idea and it would only require of few tenants in your building to trigger a State investigation into PSD. You can find out from Frank what the exact percentage is. You would then have to set up an escrow account and enlist a few people in your building to put this money on the side. I'm not an expert as to the best way to conduct such a protest - again, you could ask Frank Farance.

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Frank Farance said...

RIOC/PSD Trounces Freedom of Speech by Selectively Taking Down Only Anti-PSD Rally Posters on Kiosks and Buses

[sent to RIOC Board yesterday, April 22]

Mr. Towns, Mr. Lewis-

Today I observed a RIOC pick-up truck stop at a kiosk (in front of 531), a RIOC staff person carefully remove the RIRA PSD Rally posters on Public Safety, and then throw out the poster in his pick up truck. I asked the worker Tony Tonoci (sp?) about this:

Frank> Why did you remove the poster?
Tony> It was made of paper.
Frank> But there are other posters made of paper, why did you leave them and remove *this* one?
Tony> The event had already happened.
Frank> But other posters have events that have already happened, too. Who told you to do this?
Tony> My boss, Fernando Vargas.

After that, Tony left, having completed his only task.

THAT'S RIGHT: Tony had one task to do in his pick-up truck, stop at kiosks and remove anti-PSD posters

I also noticed that ONLY the Rally Posters were gone from the buses, the Easter Egg hunt posters are still there, and the three-year old NY Junior Tennis League posters are there.

Clearly, RIOC has a SUBJECTIVE policy on posters, i.e., it lacks respect for the First Amendment. (Sorry Mr. Shinozaki, your government organization knows little about the First Amendment.) I left a message for Mr. Vargas, but he didn't return my call. I'll be putting up posters tomorrow: nice big ones with pictures Mr. Tonoci taking posters down.

Who directed Mr. Vargas to remove solely the RIRA PSD Rally posters?

[Note: The first photo is Mr. Tonoci having removed ONLY the anti-PSD poster but leaving the rest up. The second photo is Mr. Tonoci carrying the balled up poster under his left arm. The third photo is Mr. Tononci driving away in his red RIOC pick-up truck having stopped here at the kiosk to perform ONLY one task which was to remove ONLY anti-PSD posters.]

GeorgeProzakis said...

It should be up to the discretion of RIOC? No?

You can but cannot ultimately have free speech on technically private property.
Sounds similar to situations the MTA had in the past regarding advertising on their facilities. They had final say.

It's easy for RIOC to say "no posters allowed" on any and all kiosks. They after all can set the rules.

Frank Farance said...

Officer (Call Me A Police Bigot) Prozakis: The kiosks are available for the public to post, there is no review on content. RIOC took down posters, SUBJECTIVELY, based upon content: the posters were written expressions against the government, and the government took only those posters down. It's a Freedom Of Speech issue in its most obvious form.

Prozakis, your thinking is ridiculous (essentially): we shouldn't complain about Freedom Of Speech violations because they might take it away completely.

GeorgeProzakis said...

I don't believe the true freedom of speech exists on technically private property. They can after all recind the kiosks for future use. Right or wrong?

Frank Farance said...

If they make the kiosks available to the public, they can't be selective about which kind of content to tear down, e.g., content that complains about the government (RIOC).

Joe Carbo said...

this island needs the leadership of matt katz.where have you gone matt

aMan said...

George, the politicians that spoke out last Sunday have conducted numerous investigations themselves into the pattern or abuse by Public Safety. We all know, and history has shown, when a police entity has no oversight, it becomes rogue and loses sight on the process and the community it serves. When the head of this entity posts a recruiting video on YouTube that showcases a thriller/action-like movie, in a zero crime environment, you can tell it lost touch with street reality. When Guerra asks for guns and tasers for a community that is generally peaceful, it only proves the militia mentality.

Since you do not know the facts, I invite you to participate in any of the RIRA PSC Rallies. The abundance of complaints of "intimidation", "fear" and "brutality" at the hands of PSD, affecting people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities... you will see the obvious pattern at hand.

There used to be a time when Public Safety were an integral part of this society. When Uturn was pardoned, hanging out in your hallway was not a crime, asking your 4 and 6 year old to go under the turnstile because you are in a rush to get on the tram is not a reason to arrest the mom and leave the children unattended, when rushing a care-taker to get the old lady in a wheelchair into a Access-a-Ride does not end with the caretaker handcuffed and taken to PSD holding area for 3 hours, while the old lady is left unattended in her wheelchair. There used to be a time when the officers would smile and say a loud "good morning". When their presence is not intimidating. This has changed since Guerra took charge of the Peace Officers, and changed them to his militia officers.

These were some of the cases that have been brought to RIOC (hence their hire of an investigation agency last week), and that have been submitted to the politicians over the last few years.

Some of these stories are highlighted on the posters that were put on the kiosks so that people like you, who do not know the facts, can read them and learn about the pattern of abuse that has affected all elements of this community.

Sounds like you are an intelligent man who is looking to know the truth. The complaints have been out and the PSC has helped bring them together. RIOC is starting to listen and is investigation this pattern.

GeorgeProzakis said...

Seriously? Any peaceful area can erupt in utter chaos. To have them unarmed for the sake of a peaceful community is insane.

That mindset is the same of the hierarchy at the CUNY schools who refuse to arm their officers. Peaceful environment? Yes! Can anything happen at any time? Yes!

I guess when god forbid one of them loses their lives protecting you

Frank Farance said...

Officer (Call Me A Police Bigot) Prozakis: Public Safety officers abuse their authority with no weapons, so why would we believe there would be less abuse with more weapons?

Having a gun means also having the training, responsibility, and judgement to use it. Ditto for a taser. It's pretty clear to this community that Public Safety officers don't have the judgement to use them. A while ago, I said: maybe just supervisors for tasers, but Public Safety has greatly disappointed the community.

Really, when Keith Guerra's ongoing focus is The Prisoner Is Faking His Injuries and he lies/misleads about it, you have it from the top: this is an organization that can't be trusted with guns/tasers.

GeorgeProzakis said...

Well it's either you WANT a safe community with enforcement and no selective enforcement, or you want selective enforcement?

You can't have it both ways.

If they are in fact reducing crime, they are obviously doing something right.

It is not entirely not their fault for initiating these incidents that escalate to a physical restraint.

Where I use to work, we had Parks Enforcement Patrol as we covered a park. 9 times out of 10 when they came to the precinct with an arrest, resisting arrest was almost always charged. When asking the perp what happened, he said "they ain't cops".

Rule #1 in law enforcement is uniform presence. I don't know what the hell a public safety is. I would probably resist too not UNDERSTANDING their law enforcement authority

GeorgeProzakis said...

Well it's zero crime as far as you can tell.

Nowhere is zero crime.

I haven't seen this video? Have a link?

Anyhow where I currently work it's literally night and day. Day time is minor stuff happening, night is when the crooks wake up.

The vast majority of the community have no idea about what's going on until a)the crime happens to them or b) they read about it or was directly told to them about the crime that happened.

This goes back to my original theory of community outreach and holding monthly community meetings. These meetings should not be a place to yell and scream but rather a Q and A session. An awareness session with the community.

I attended numerous community council meetings at my old command and you will be surprised the majority of the people there have no idea of the crimes that have been committed.

I think Training should be job one. Community meetings on a monthly bases should be job 2. Uniform presence and maybe even a name change should be job 3 for the department. Name change I mean, maybe they need to be called Police so people can identify and clarify that they are law enforcement and their legal authority cannot be mixed up or subjected.

William Sinclair said...

PSD officers have been helpful to me but have also sometimes been needlessly and aggressively rude. NYC cops are respectful, even humorous and effective and this is what I've come to expect. The PSD can learn from our City Police Department.

GeorgeProzakis said...

Guy, do you spend time with your family?

YetAnotherRIer said...

"Mr. Shinozaki is so tone-deaf and insensitive, he has empathy for PSD officers' personal lives, but for his neighbors whose lives have been ruined..."

The thing is that until an investigation comes to a conclusion every attempt against the PSD is just as unfair and life impacting as what you guys claim the PSD has been doing in the past.

Frank, you are not that much different from what you accuse Mr. Shinozaki of.

Joe Carbo said...

really. nypd is just as bad there are many rude oficers.on the nypd.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer, I sorta see your point, but I don't agree that it is equivalent, symmetric, or balanced. As a society, we give law enforcement the upper hand in that:

(1) we accept that they can arrest us (restrict our movement) at any time;
(2) we allow them to use physical force against us;

(3) we give them the benefit of belief/credit of testimony;
(4) they have better legal representation (typically the district attorney's office) at virtually no personal cost;
(5) going to court is part of their job, i.e., they get paid for it;
(6) resulting in criminal record that lasts a lifetime.

In other words, their accusations against us can involve:
- arrest (of us);
- injury (to us);
- false/misleading testimony that is difficult to defend (by us);
- significant legal cost (to us);
- lost work/school/etc. at significant cost (to us);
- loss of future employment because of criminal record.

Now let's look at Public Safety. An accusation against them:
- is very unlikely to result in arrest, and we are not permitted to arrest them;
- we are prohibited from physically inuring them;
- our complaints are likely to be disbelieved (as per Normal Siegel's analysis of CCRB stats)
- will have State employees or union reps defending them and no/little personal cost to them;
- no loss of job pay;
- might end up with a poor job reference, but no public database for future employers to check.
So it's not the same. A complaint against officer X does not cause jail time, physical injury, legal cost, loss of job or pay, or eviction from their home ... accusations about PS officers are not "life impacting" to them.

GeorgeProzakis said...

So basically in a very small nutshell, you are basically saying to everyone on Roosevelt Island is simple. DON'T BREAK THE LAW!

Wow. That was easy! (Yes I have that big red button on my desk and yes I pressed it.)

CheshireKitty said...

So now it's unfair to describe the consequences of PSD's false arrests because of the impact of the stories on PSD morale? If PSD officers want to stop the stories, they themselves should organize a protest against Guerra.

YetAnotherRIer said...

And you are missing the point by miles again, as usual.

GeorgeProzakis said...

If it was ALL false arrests, then I'm sure after all of these years there was a investigation.

We get accused of false arrests all the time. So what? We are all wrong making arrests? No. The vast majority, 99% of arrests are in good faith and within the realm of probable cause.

Your acting like the officers flake people and make things up. That is unbelievable.

Nobody is happy by getting tickets and getting arrested. Of course people do not like getting locked up and paying fines.

Speaking of getting locked up and getting tickets, what's your crusade? Why are you so gung ho about this? Don't tell me because its right or wrong. I sounds like you have a direct connection. Probably bad parenting and you don't believe your baby of can be a criminal? Maybe one too many parking tickets?

You don't fight a crusade without a reason.

CheshireKitty said...

The Jones incident was a false arrest since no charges were filed. There have been many other incidents were charges were dropped. Sometimes, the "arrest" is harassment. Other times, it's brutality, as in the case of Jones. Either way, law suits should be filed against PSD. This is evidently the only way PSD will learn to refrain from making false arrests.

CheshireKitty said...

I definitely do not agree with Prozakis' equating Shinozaki's clear insensitivity with what Frank and the PSC are doing in bringing to light the many instances of PSD mistreatment, harassment, and brutality. If PSD officers are "hurt" by residents' complaints, which is of course laughable, then they shouldn't be in l/e.

Shinozaki asked the audience to sympathize with PSD officers' families, who may be financially affected if the rogue PSD officers are fired. Hah.

YetAnotherRIer - there is no comparison possible between a family that has to face financial hardship - just as many millions of families face financial hardship following layoffs - and the victims of police brutality. And Shinozaki of course completely ignored the victims and their families at the rally on 4/21/13 - as if they don't exist - even though they were sitting there in front of his face! Sadly, Shinozaki is not only tone-deaf, he's morally blind.

GeorgeProzakis said...

You have absolutely no sense in how "charges are filed".

When a cop makes an arrest, they bring the charges against the person. Period. It is up to the district attorney office to decide if they will reduce, upgrade, keep the charges or drop the charges.

Janet Falk said...

RIOC said it will remove posters on the 15th and 30th of the month, presumably to ensure they are current and create space for new ones.

Posters should not be selectively removed prior to those scheduled dates.

Frank Farance said...

Officer (Call Me A Police Bigot) Prozakis: unsurprisingly, you've missed the point about PSD's abusive tactics. Something that could be diffused (as NYPD officers do) is escalated along the lines of PSD's upper-hand:
- detention (because they can),
- arrest (because they can),
- physical injury (because they can),
- false or trumped up charges (because they can),
- choosing between plea-downs or high legal costs (because they can), - defending against evictions based upon phony charges (because they can),
just to name a few.

I've spoken with Director Guerra about this. He's made it really clear:
- it's about maximum enforcement (no deescalation),
- a reasoned complain is transformed into disorderly conduct,
- catching your balance is transformed into resisting arrest,
- walking/standing anywhere is a trespassing change,
- lack of situational awareness (e.g., separating Stroller Mom from children for detention; separating attendant from disabled for detention),
- continued physical injury, even when not resisting

And getting rid of Guerra will help, but the problems is much bigger (RIOC Board, PSD structure, other PSD leadership, some PSD officers).

GeorgeProzakis said...

You, yourself miss the point.

You speak of nypd diffusion. Ok. You never worked or lived in the "hood" where the perps run lawless. And the officers are ordered to make arrests. You have this obscure fantasy about us.

I'm not comparing to the island but sometimes enforcement is absolute key. You have no idea how many multiple run ins and breaks they gave to the people they arrest.

When your kid keeps doing something wrong, are you the type of parent that just keeps saying "No! Johnny!". Or do you eventually punish your kid?

Same philosophy.

This is how the police department works, how every law enforcement agency works.

You can only give so many breaks to someone until you MUST punish them for their actions.

Don't try to flip my word of punish into beating, as I mean it to arrest and or summons the violator.

Frank Farance said...

Officer Prozakis, your point is: other places are lawless, require zero tolerance & maximum enforcement, thus those tactics apply everywhere, including here. You support violations of constitutional rights when you say "you are simply assuming its a one time contact and off to jail they go" because you believe that the arrest is the punishment for an accumulation of minor grievances over time: none of them individually illegal.

You equate the accumulation of minor (but legal) grievances with parenting, which is a completely different paradigm: as parents, we don't merely do "enforcement" (which is part of our role), but we coach, mentor, encourage, educate. lead, give guidance, and so on. In other words, some of the things we do as parents (choosing which kinds of "speech" they are permitted to hear; choosing which kinds of "speech" we will allow; choosing the kinds of activities they will do; advising on Good and Bad, not merely Legal and
Illegal; choosing their religious upbringing, etc.) are outside what the constitution permits society to impose upon individuals.

Police aren't parents, so punishing your child because they need to learn not to be annoying (but legal), is not the same as an officer with multiple contacts whose decided they've had enough of non-illegal annoyance.

If you listen to many many of the complaints at the rally: they're all single point-of-contact transactions with Public Safety, i.e., people who have had no prior negative transaction, and Public Safety does not deny this.

For the ones who have multiple points of contact, our law is transactional: what happened (or not) at that event makes it legal or not, not the prior N non-illegal events.

Prozakis, obviously you're the kind of cop that would be
wrong for this neighborhood and, thus, your advice is always terrible.

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Frank Farance said...

PSD Officer Raul Hernandez, 35 Suspensions Without Pay, And A Six-Month Probationary Period

[sent to RIOC Board]

Mr. Towns, Ms. Indelicato, Mr. Lewis-

I have asked about RIOC/PSD policy before (see my November 8, 2012 E-mail), but you have not responded. Again, I point to another glaring problem with Public Safety, its management (Guerra, Bryan, Suarez), and its oversight (RIOC Board).

Just as Sgt. Ingrid Veras was a Bad Egg who should have been fired years ago, you have Officer Raul Hernandez with 35 suspensions without pay, a six-month probationary period, multiple counseling, and (more importantly) numerous complaints from residents on his abusive tactics. After Officer Hernandez' completion of his six-month probationary period (July 27, 2011), on his first day off of probation (July 28, 2011), Officer Hernandez was again suspended without pay.

2013: Jan 3
2012: Jul 26, Oct 5, Dec 6, Dec 6
2011: Jan 27 (10 days), Jul 28, Oct 6, Oct 20, Oct 20, Nov 3 (15 days), Nov 3, Nov 7
2010: Jul 30
2009: Jan 8, Mar 26, Mar 26, Jun 18, Jul 9, Jul 21
2008: May 8, Oct 30
2007: Feb 23, May 30
2006: Feb 16, Nov 2
2004: Jan 6, Jun 16
2003: Sep 11, Oct 8
2002: Nov 21, Dec 23, Dec 31
2000: Aug 23, Aug 23

The 15-day suspension in November 2011 concerned:

- Violating Public Safety Employee Code of Conduct- Article 17:no.17.4(J) - Any actions that cause or contribute to an unsafe condition or health hazard that may affect the employee or fellow employees.
- Violating Public Safety Employee Code of Conduct- Article 17:no.17.4(E) - Abuse or misuse of the employer's property or equipment including but not limited to the employer's information or communication system.
- Attachment B-Table of Offenses #17- Willful Violation of or neglect to comply with RIOC's Rules and regulations, orders, policies, instructions or practices including the code of conduct (Major).
- Attachment B-Table of Offenses #35- Misuse or unauthorized removal of books and records of the corporation.
- Attachment B-Table of Offenses #45- Manufacture, tamper with, falsified, fabricate or withhold evidence or information.

The 10-day suspension in January 2011 concerned:

- Violating Public Safety Manual Attachment 8- Table of Offenses #17- Willful violation of, or neglect to comply with RIOC's Rules and Regulations, orders, policies, instructions or practices including the code of conduct (major).
- Violating Public Safety Manual! Attachment 8- Table of Offenses,#40 - Conduct prejudicial to the good order or discipline.
- Violating Employee Code of Conduct / Article 17 #17.4(J) - Any actions that cause or contribute to an unsafe condition or health hazard that may affect the employee or fellow employees.
- Violating Employee Code of Conduct I Article 17 #17.4(L) - Any illegal or unethical behavior, whether in the employee's employment or not, that creates potential liability to the employer or which project an unfavorable image of the employer to the public.

January 26, 2011, Notice of Probationary Period:
- Your performance to this date has been unsatisfactory. At this time rather than a demotion you are being placed on probation for a period of six months.
- Probationary period will be effective January 27, 2011 and end of July 27, 2011.

Under what policy, guidelines, or performance metrics are you keeping this officer employed in RIOC/PSD?

With Sgt. Veras, I thought a dozen suspensions was outrageous. But three dozen for Officer Hernandez? Guerra, Bryan, and Suarez thought Hernandez was OK to stay on the force. RIOC Board members accept three dozen suspensions as an acceptable employee, and accept Guerra's, Bryan's, and Suarez's acceptance of this employee. It seems that it is impossible to get fired from PSD, regardless of poor performance.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"It seems that it is impossible to get fired from PSD, regardless of poor performance."

The same stands for pretty much every government job and/or jobs in academia. This is not unusual and not surprising at all.

Frank Farance said...

Only 4 Civilian Complaints Against PSD Officers Since 1990?

[sent to RIOC Board]
Mr. Towns, Ms. Indelicato, Mr. Lewis-

I have reviewed a recent FOIL response, which included 834 pages, as described by Ms. Lada Stasko (RIOC Associate General Counsel):

Stasko> Please be advised that your Freedom of Information Law request for information to Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York dated November 7, 2012, wherein you requested the same documents (awards, complaints, and disciplinary action) for the remaining officers and supervisors of the Public Safety Department (as previously provided to you for Officer Ingrid Veras, Director Keith Guerra and Deputy Director Rene Bryan), has been granted to the extent that the documents sought are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law and the right to privacy pursuant to Civil Rights Law §50.

Out of the 834 pages, which go back to 1990, only 12 pages involve 4 civilian complaints:

- On or about May 8, 2010 a complain upon SPO Clemente
- On or about October 12, 2010 a complain upon Lt. Yee
- On or about August 31, 2011 a complain upon SPO Candelario
- On or about March 19, 2012 a complain upon Sgt. Lindsey

In other words, in 23 years of personnel records, there are only 4 civilian complaints? Furthermore, given the organization of the FOIL response itself, it appears that the civilian complaints are not kept with the officers' records, complaints are kept separately. Meanwhile, civilian *compliments* are included in the personnel records.

Can you explain why there are less than a handful civilian complaints in over two decades of records?

Frank Farance

GeorgeProzakis said...

If I am not mistaken, no records should be sent per foil for employees who are no longer employed. Appears to me RIOC failed to safeguard files of separated members. A violation on their part.

Frank Farance said...

CheshireKitty: When I told RIOC about Sgt. Veras and her dozen suspensions, the RIOC Operations Committee (Mike Shinozaki is chair) held an Executive Session with Director Guerra invited to discuss policy. At that point, I assume Guerra told them: Yeah, Sgt. Veras has a dozen, but we have other officers who have a lot, too, like Officer Hernandez with 30+ suspensions.

With all of Hernandez' suspended time off (1 of every 8 days in 2011), ask yourself: What value did Guerra (or Bryan or Suarez) see in Hernandez? With all the resident complaints against Hernandez, I'm guessing Guerra liked that Hernandez was an Enforcer-class worker, someone who can get very physical, just as Guerra was accustomed to in Guerra's only leisure activities, e.g., his fraternity, as I've reported previously.

CheshireKitty said...

If I'm not mistaken Veras received a medal and/or was promoted after her suspensions. Was Hernandez also decorated or promoted despite his numerous suspensions?

If so, I hate to say it but Guerra rewarding particularly brutal cops must have put tremendous stress on "under-performing" i.e. decent cops in the PSD, which might explain the recent tragic passing of Officer Mikey.

CheshireKitty said...

Keith Guerra has perverted the PSD, so that
brutal officers like Hernandez and Veras are not only retained, they are even
promoted and awarded medals. How could a wonderful officer like Mikey
endure in such an environment and not even be promoted?

YetAnotherRIer said...

Where did you read anything about police brutality as partial reasons for their suspensions? Are we having problems with reading comprehension again?

CheshireKitty said...

Hernandez and Veras = brutal officers that were suspended numerous times, nonetheless were promoted and received medals. Mikey = a wonderful, i.e. non-brutal officer, wasn't even promoted. Where did you get partial reason from? Read the article - Hernandez was suspended 35 times without pay. Even aside from medals and promotions - why was Hernandez kept on? This one fact alone completely demolishes the idea that RIOC oversees PSD to even the tiniest degree! No business would ever retain an employee that had been suspended 35 times, YetAnotherRIer.

GeorgeProzakis said...

Class act. Blasting the officers without them having a chance to defend themselves. Perhaps the director was not only a heavy enforcers as you have stated in the past towards civilians, I guess he was heavy handed with his subordinates as well. Who knows? Without anyone's defense, it's easy to blast them.

Frank Farance said...

Officer Prozakis: Director Guerra gets a copy of my concerns, so he can't feign mis-hearing what I've said. Their union represents the officers, they get copies of the suspensions, they can voice the officers' side of the story (but choose not to). The WIRE, the RI Blog, and I give copies and they (RIOC/PSD) have always had opportunity to respond.

Rarely do they respond, e.g.:
- Mike Shinozaki asked to speak at the rally and chose to demonstrate how insensitive RIOC is to community concerns;
- Margie Smith makes flimsy excuses (complaints weren't signed, yet they don't need signatures) on why residents' concerns were not listened to;
- David Kraut points out the RIOC Board has done a lousy job of PSD oversight for the past two decades;
- Howard Polivy disingenuously complains he doesn't have records (when they are already available for RIOC to give away via FOIL).

The simply explanation is: no one is attempting to prevent RIOC, PSD, or their officers from getting their story out. In fact, when the WIRE reported on current/former staff, we got a keen insight into RIOC/PSD, and it's not pretty.

The problem is: the truth doesn't put RIOC/PSD in a favorable light. And the problem isn't just one officer, or just one leader (e.g., Guerra), it's pervasive at every level: officers, supervisors, PSD leadership, RIOC execs, RIOC Board, and so on.

Sure, Director Guerra needs to go, but so do many others that make for this dysfunctional culture at RIOC and PSD.

CheshireKitty said...

One could profitably ask the same question of you. Oh, of course - you're just an "ex" Roosevelt Islander cop who isn't really affected by the controversy regarding PSD, yet has the hours to spend defending them. Yeah, right - Prozakis. You devote hours because you're just "interested" in the topic. There are others who devote time because the PSD problem is right outside their doorstep, and affects them, their families, their neighbors. That's called altruism - if you're not familiar with the term, look it up. It's the opposite of self-protective selfishness, which is what appears to motivate you.

GeorgeProzakis said...

I hope you are joking.

I need not defend anyone. My purpose is to figure out if the naysayers have a leg to stand on within the spectrum of police work. I find it fascinating that civilians make themselves professionals on how and what procedures are implemented or the reasoning behind why some things happen the way it happens.

I find these controversies extra interesting. So sue me!

CheshireKitty said...

So if you need not defend anyone, you won't be too surprised with the results of the PSD audit once it's released next month, or in July, because I guarantee you, it won't be pretty. Indelicato reads the blog, and in any event, is the recipient of the information Frank has unearthed from his FOIL requests. This information is also going to be considered by the audit team - not doubt by other investigators as well. How can you possibly defend a police organization that retains a PS officer like Raul Hernandez - even though he has been suspended without pay 35 times?

Frank Farance said...

Officer Prozakis: But you don't seem to know police work, whether it's vertical patrols, patrol guides, the law, or CCRBs. So why should we listen to you? And when someone points out your mistakes, you focus on whether or not a person's hair is combed.

So you, as a brief resident of years ago who kept his head down as he went to the subway every day, can't remember what street he lived across from in Manhattan, but has strong memories of how fire trucks navigate around Eastwood (a building you didn't live in). Sounds like many people have your figured out.

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