Monday, March 16, 2009


It is with sadness that I say I am leaving this blog for a few months. I'm gearing up to take the LSAT and it will be monopolizing my time in the coming months. For the two to three people who may or may not have regularly checked this blog, I'm sorry I won't be here to entertain you with my rants. For those who accidentally clicked here, the "Back" button is in the upper-left corner of your browser window.

So long for now, I'll be back with a vengeance in a few months. In the meantime, if anyone knows anyone in admissions at Harvard Law, I'd really appreciate an introduction and a good word. Peace.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rape Cop's Partner Turns

The Post is reporting today that Franklin Mata, the partner of alleged rapist and NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno, is telling investigators that, contrary to what he tried to claim yesterday, the officer did rape the victim rather than have consensual sex with her. Mata and Moreno were called to East 13th Street on December 7, 2008 in response to a cabbie's calls to 911 to say that a fare he picked up was sick in his cab and needed assistance to get home. Mata and Moreno escorted the woman to her apartment, then returned twice during the course of the early morning, with Morneo allegedly raping her on the third visit. The Post reports that the woman awoke hours after the alleged attack "in pain and with signs of trauma," prompting a trip to Beth Israel Hospital. When the officers' lockers were searched after the allegations were brought by the unnamed victim, heroin was found inside Moreno's locker. While the officer tried to claim that he simply forgot to voucher the smack, it was found "tightly wrapped in a package hidden in a cigarette box."

The Daily News states that along with the dope in his locker, Moreno was found to be in possession of a list of almost a dozen women containing their names and addresses. The DA is currently looking into whether any of the women were involved with any incidents that Moreno may have responded to in his duty as a police officer. Moreno was stationed out of the famous 9th Precinct (Kojak and NYPD Blue used the facade of the station house for their filming). Back in the summer of 2005, PBA Magazine did a piece on the 9th Precinct, tailing Moreno and his then-partner Tyra Narvaez on one of their midnight to eight runs.

There is still no word on whether Moreno or Mata have been permanently relieved of duty or have even been arrested. You can bet that if a civilian were accused of rape, had dope in their possession, and had corroborating testimony from their partner-in-crime, their ass would be on the next bus to Rikers. The two officers, instead, have been on administrative duty since the allegation was reported on December 7, receiving their pay and benefits. According to the NYPD recruitment website, an officer who has been with the force for more than 5 and a half years makes $90,829 (not including OT and benefits). A three-year vet (like Mata) makes $53,819 (again, not including OT and benefits). That means that every day that accused rapist Moreno is on the force, he is costing the taxpayers more than $284 a day. His lookout Mata costs taxpayers more than $147 per day. Since their December 7 administrative duties kicked in, they have cost the taxpayers more than $37,000 combined. I don't know about you, but personally I don't like my money going to pay an implicated rapist's salary.

Another thing I've noticed is that there is a severe lack of outspoken leaders on this issue. Bloomberg only offered the standard, "It is a very serious charge, obviously, and I don’t want to prejudice anything, but you can rest assured that the Internal Affairs Bureau is working very hard and doing an investigation." Ray Kelly has been silent thus far. Pat Lynch, the outspoken PBA president who called a suspect charged (but eventually acquitted) of killing Officer Timoshenko a "mongrel," has been uncharacteristically quiet. Why the sudden silence?

It seems that the so-called blue wall of silence held up for Moreno about as well as the 9th Ward levees did for the people of New Orleans. It should go without saying that Moreno and Mata should be fired and brought before a grand jury immediately. No more of our tax dollars should go to paying these two. Both should also pay back the taxpayers of New York for the time that they spent on administrative duty if convicted of these horrendous acts. It's pretty clear from what has been offered that Moreno will be spending time behind bars, the real question is for how long. But what about Mata? Is he some kind of accomplice, considering he appears to be Moreno's lookout and covered for him? At the least I hope Mata is fired, because he is clearly not to be trusted. It will be interesting to see what the official response to all of this is and how Bloomberg deals with it, considering this is an election year. So far the silence is deafening. All in all, it is disgraceful to the entire police department that a person like Moreno could be on the force for almost two decades and be capable of something like this. Let's hope the rest of the department stands by what is on every RMP on the force: "Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect." Peace.

Photos - Kenneth Moreno (Daily News), Moreno again (PBA Magazine), NYPD logo (Mesomorphosis)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Two NYPD Officers Accused of Rape While On Duty (UPDATED 3/3/2009)

Of all the NYPD blunders I have covered on this blog, this one may be one of the more disturbing. Two officers are facing accusations that they raped an intoxicated woman whom they had helped home earlier in the evening after the alleged victim vomited inside a cab. The officers, who have not been named, are still being paid with New Yorkers' tax dollars, even after heroin was found in one of their lockers. No arrests have been made in connection with the incident, which is alleged to have happened three months ago.

The whole thing started when a cabbie called the cops when a woman threw up in his cab and could not find cab fare. The officers showed up and escorted the woman into her apartment. They allegedly came back about a half-hour later and one cop raped the woman while the other stood by. The woman told her friends the morning after the attack and then called the Manhattan DA's office. Sources inside the police department, according to the Post, say that charges are expected against the two officers.

When pressed on the heroin found in his locker, the older of the pair (the one accused of physically raping the victim) stated that he simply forgot to voucher the drugs in a separate case. So not only was he in possession of an illegal substance, but he probably screwed up the other, unrelated case to which the smack was evidence.

Surveillance video from around the building shows the officers entering and exiting the woman's apartment building on three separate occasions: one to escort her in initially, another time when they spent 17 minutes inside the building, and a third time when they spent over 30 minutes inside. My questions is this: where does the NYPD get people like this on their force? And another one: did anyone know that these two guys were bad cops (and scumbags, to boot)? If so, and they said nothing, they can consider themselves complicit in all of this, for had they said something to their CO then a woman may not have (allegedly) been raped.

This horrible incident renews the call to make the restrictions on becoming a cop stricter. I've said it before: raise the salary of incoming cops and raise the minimum requirements. Right now to become a cop the educational requirement is 60 credits (2 years) from an accredited college with a minumum GPA of 2.0 (which translates to a 70% average). While you cannot be a city officer if you are a felon, you can have misdemeanors (aka even if you have a criminal record you can enforce the law you broke in the first place). The only time a misdemeanor would disqualify you (according to the website) occurs when "repeated convictions of an offense...indicate a disrespect for the law." Do we really want to give someone a gun and an abnormally large amount of power if they have demonstrated that they cannot follow the law?

Cops deal with crap all the time, but it's no excuse for drug possession and rape. Officers are underpaid and undertrained and it can lead to dangerous outcomes (such as this one). If you increase the starting salary as well as the minimum requirements (jack up that GPA to 3.0, make it a full bachelor's, and make the candidate demonstrate the ability to follow the law he/she will swear to uphold), you will see a much lower number of disgusting incidents like this. Because the bottom line of all this is that allegations like this erode the trust of the police department in the public's eye. I've already spoken to a few women who said they would now think twice about calling the police in situations where they might not have given it a second thought before, and I have to say I cannot blame them. The fact that this is even remotely possible in today's NYPD while the cops are on duty is despicable and tarnishes every good cop's badge. Peace.

UPDATE 3/2/2009: The police officers involved have been tentatively identified by New York Post sources as Kenneth Moreno (a 17 year NYPD veteran, married with two kids) and Franklin L. Mata, who has been on the force for three years. In addition to the heroin found in Moreno's locker was "personal information of other women." It is astounding that someone can be on the force for 17 years and allegedly do something like this. If, in fact, Moreno is guilty of this rape, I have to wonder how could he have stayed on the force? It takes a special kind of scumbag to rape a woman and if that kind of person can be on the force for 17 years in New York, I wonder who else can be wearing the badge? Scary stuff.

UPDATE 3/3/2009: The New York Post today is reporting that Franklin L. Mata, the partner of accused rapist Kenneth Moreno, has told investigators (through his lawyer) that the sex between Moreno and the alleged victim was consensual. All of this despite the fact that the victim says she was raped and there is video evidence of the woman beyond drunk (and thus legally incapable of giving consent). Moreno should have known this. The fact that these two are still on the job (being paid by the taxpayer) is disgusting. Moreno had smack in his locker and is accused of rape (and in the best scenario had "consensual" sex with an impaired woman), yet he still gets a check cut by the state? And his partner, who also should have known better, was 100% complicit in it. This is a nightmare for the NYPD and is slowly becoming the epitome of double-standards when it comes to cops and civilians. Think about it: if you or me are accused of rape and they find drugs on us, would we be out in the streets continuing to get a paycheck? Fire and arrest both of these criminals now.

Photos - NYPD logo (Mesomorphosis), Heathers, a nearby bar from which video surveillance was obtained (New York Mag)