Thursday, June 12, 2008
DiFiore’s Incestuousness With Yonkers
Police Sacrifices Victims Of Police Brutality
Tony Castro Predicts, “It Will Come Back To Haunt Law Enforcement”
Nearly two years ago, in our September 21, 2006 issue, The Guardian blew the lid off years of Yonkers Police brutality, revealing an incident in 2005 in a front-page story entitled Mother, 72, Daughter, 49, Charge Yonkers Police Brutality. That story, which detailed the serious civil rights violations the Yonkers Police Department committed when they roughed up a middle-aged woman and her elderly mother, up behind Saunders High School, opened the floodgate to reports by residents, all over the City, and caused the sudden resignation and retirement of Police Commissioner Robert Taggart.
Within a week of the appearance of that story, President Karen Edmonson and Attorney Mike Sussman, of the Yonkers chapter of the NAACP, held a speak-out session at the Riverfront Library, attended by more than 125 persons, many of whom told about their own, and
their family’s, including mother’s and children’s, brutal encounters with the Yonkers Police, involving little or no provocation or justifi-
cation. Attorneys and law students from Pace Law School’s Criminal Justice Center, recorded their accounts which ultimately came to the attention the United States Attorney’s Office and the FBI.
More than a year ago, the FBI, in response, announced that they were conducting a “formal investigation into allegations of police brutality in Yonkers.” The Guardian is aware of visits by FBI special agents to a number of victim/complainants, including Tina and Mary Bostwick, the mother and daughter subjects of our first report. To date, we are not aware of any reports having been issued, or af-firmative action having been taken by the United States Attorney’s Of-fice, or the FBI, that might impact the continuing, unlawful brutality, and false criminal charges routinely worked against innocent men, women and children by, perhaps, 20 or so rogue, violent police offi-cers out of a force of some 670.
Last fall, a second speak-out was held at the Riverfront Library; this time in the auditorium, a few weeks prior to the mayoral election. Mayor Amicone, who had been campaigning nearby, came in to the auditorium in an ill-advised attempt to whitewash and dilute the concerns of the diverse, but mostly minority, audience. He was quickly booed and jeered, and literally chased from the auditorium.
In case after case, the routine has been the same; Yonkers Police beating up innocent citizens, then charging them with Disorderly Conduct, Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Resisting Arrest, Assault Upon A Police Of-ficer, or any combination thereof, both to cover and provide justifi-cation for their own criminal, civil rights violations, and as “bargaining chips” intended to discourage civilian victims from lodging criminal and/or civil complaints.
The practice has been going on for many years; DA Jeanine Pirro, for the most part, looking the other way. However, DA Janet DiFiore
has literally become a co-conspirator with Police Commissioner Hartnett and Mayor Amicone in case after case, as in the Irma Marquez
case. Marquez, all but killed by a totally unjustified body slam delivered by Yonkers Police Of-ficer Wayne Simoes, on March 3, 2007, was charged and prosecuted by DA DiFiore for Obstruction Of Governmental Administration and Disorderly Conduct, an absolutely absurd response by the DA given the clear, indisputable evidence provided by a security camera videotape at the scene.
Those who might wonder why Janet DiFiore repeatedly abandons her sworn duty to protect innocent citizens in her rush to aid and assist
rogue Yonkers cops, while covering up the Department’s serious civil rights violations, need to understand that she has a deep indebtedness
to the Yonkers Police, given the circumstances surrounding her race for District Attorney against Tony Castro in 2005. In point of fact, Di-
Fiore, whose husband attempted to bribe Right-To-Life candidate Anthony DiCintio off the ballot, was nonetheless publicly endorsed by
the Yonkers Police Department.
They were the host department at the Yonkers Polish Center within days of the election at a rally by police brass from Harrison, Dobbs
Ferry and other departments. But, more importantly, and more suspect, they were the department assigned to secure the warehouse storage
facility on Saw Mill River Road, where more than 300 voting machines were impounded at DiFiore’s request; a request filed three days
before the election was even held. This writer, who was reporting at the time for Martinelli Publications, witnessed the recanvas of those machines.
Having been Tony Castro’s campaign director when, as a total unknown he came close to defeating Jeanine Pirro four years earlier, I quickly recognized the peculiar voting patterns revealed in the 2005 Yonkers recount, not to mention numerous machines with broken seals. Despite the so-called “Non- Aggression Pact” of 2001, where Andy Spano and Larry Schwartz, and Reggie Lafayette, and all their henchmen, were actually part of the “fix” to reelect Jeanine Pirro, I never doubted that she won by six points, actually receiving more votes than my candidate. I have never enjoyed that lack of doubt with respect to Janet DiFiore. Given the totality of the circumstances, what reasonably
intelligent individual could?
Finally, speaking of Tony Castro, exposure of Irma Marquez’ case, less than two weeks ago, with its shocking videotape, brought to mind his client, Rui Florim, now approximately 23, who was beaten by six Yonkers police officers approximately 2 years ago. The facts of his encounter are no less outrageous and egregious.
Florim, who had gotten off work at 10:30pm from O’Porto Restaurant in the Village of Hartsdale, Town of Greenburgh, was being driven home by a female friend, having just crossed Central Avenue when they were pulled over by flashing lights in a dark area of the roadway. Six Yonkers Police Officers, including one female, all dressed in civilian clothing, pulled Florim from his friend’s car. And, forcing him into their unmarked car, four of them beat him about the face and head mercilessly.
He was then taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, opposite Yonkers Police Headquarters, a hospital repeatedly used as the depository for victims of Yonkers Police brutality. He required 70 stitches and staples and five days in the Intensive Care Unit to recover. While he was in St. Joseph’s, Yonkers Police physically barred his family, and his attorney, from any contact with him.
Tony Castro represents Mr. Florim in State Court because, as with Irma Marquez, DA DiFiore is prosecuting him on trumped-up charges. Florim, will, no doubt, also be bringing an action in Federal Court. Castro told The Guardian, “The District Attorney’s routine response to Yonkers Police brutality is very short-sighted. She is not looking ahead to the long-term implications for juries and verdicts.
Jurors will learn what has been taking place. And, what has happened in The Bronx is what will happen in Yonkers, and all over
Westchester.” Castro went on, “It will come back to haunt law enforcement all across Westchester in the near-future. Their jury service is where citizens express their feelings about what they experience with police.”
Tony Castro, a former Bronx Assistant District Attorney, with 14 years experience, who trained hundreds of prosecutors, and who was
Deputy Bureau Chief of Homicides and the Grand Jury, was referring specifically to the preferential treatment DA DiFiore has repeatedly
shown the Yonkers Police Department at the expense of innocent citizens, as she has consistently been unwilling to investigate and prosecute their brutality against men, women and children. He is concerned that grand juries and trial juries will become so cynical and jaded that they will refuse to indict, or convict, in cases that are dependent upon police accounts.