In today’s “Who would have thunk it news?”, it is being reported that Sgt. Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, the two NYPD cops involved in the shooting death of Kimani Gray, have a lengthy history of civil rights violations. Between them there are 5 civil lawsuits which cost the city a total of $215,000 in settlements, court records show.
• Derek Franks received a $92,500 settlement for a suit against Mourad and other unidentified cops, alleging he was illegally stopped and frisked on May 7, 2007. He spent four months in Rikers Island until charges were dropped.
• Andre Maraj and Dary Harville each received $22,500 settlements, which alleged they were falsely arrested by Mourad and others. Harville claimed he was “slammed” into a car.
• Jontel Sebbern received $20,000 stemming from his arrest after a car stop. He was ordered out of the car by Mourad and others, who frisked him and pulled his pants and underwear.
• Peter Owusu pocketed $22,500 for the “emotional distress” he suffered as a result of a car stop and arrest by Cordova. Owusu claims he was placed facedown in a puddle and handcuffed. He later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
• Steve Morency got $35,000 after accusing Cordova of an illegal stop inside an E. 17th St. building. Morency claimed he was punched in the face and needed three stitches to close a cut above his eye.
Although Gray’s record shows he’s not angel, the cops involved aren’t exactly squeaky clean. Mourad and Cordova are currently pushing paper on desk duty while the NYPD and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office continue to investigate the murder of Gray.
In response to the civil rights violations and settlements, the city’s lawyer dismisses them as not being large. “None of these civil claims were tried, and the officers were not found to have engaged in any wrongdoing. The decision to settle should not be held against them. The settlements were not large by legal standards, as they included attorney’s fees,” said city lawyer Muriel Goode-Trufant.
Do you think the history of the officers involved, should also receive the same attention as Gray’s past?