4 Banks In 1 Day – Police Need Your Help Identifying These Bank Robbers

bkbank4indayPolice are seeking the public’s assistance identifying the following individual wanted for two bank robberies and two attempted bank robberies which took place in Brooklyn. Details are as follows.

1. April 14, 2014 at 12:30 PM inside of 2102 Ralph Avenue(Capital One) the suspects passed a demand note and fled with approximately $1800.

2. April 14, 2014 1:55 PM hours inside of 1987 Flatbush Avenue(Chase) the suspects entered the location passed a demand note and fled without taking any money.

3. April 14, 2014 2:10 PM inside of 1123 Kings Highway(Northfield Bank) the suspects entered the location passed a demand note and fled the location without taking any money.

4. April 14, 2014 2:30 PM inside of 301 Avenue U(Santander Bank) the suspects passed a demand note and fled with approximately  $4,500.

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Tenants Claim Discrimination by Brooklyn Landlord

A Brooklyn landlord has engaged in a pattern of ill-treatment to force out minority renters, even failing to cash rent checks in hopes of later evicting them for nonpayment, tenants said Tuesday after filing a federal discrimination lawsuit.

Jean Wilkinson said the landlord has ignored requests to fix her water – the only source of hot water in her apartment for the last five days has been the stove, she said – as part of a “game plan” to get more affluent clientele.

The tenants filed a federal discrimination lawsuit late Monday against Homewood Gardens Estates and its principal owner, Yeshaya Wasserman, alleging a pattern of harassment “almost from the day” he purchased the complex in 2009. They are seeking an order stopping the alleged harassment and monetary damages.

Tenant Marquetta Bell said the plaintiffs – 11 current or former tenants and two community groups – are serving notice: “We will no longer stand for this discrimination.”

Attorneys for the tenants said the complex in the Prospect Lefferts Garden neighborhood failed to complete repairs and changed locks without providing them with keys.

When the complex’s maintenance staff did make repairs, the shoddy work created other problems including mold, leaky windows and floors so worn in some places tenants could see into the basement below, the attorneys said.

A woman who answered the phone at Homewood Gardens said Wasserman would not be back in the office to respond to questions about the lawsuit until Wednesday. No one else was available to answer questions, she said.

City officials reported dozens of complaints about the complex since Wasserman took ownership.

Last October, the state’s Tenant Protection Unit served a subpoena on Wasserman for documents from Homewood Gardens and seven other properties. The unit, according to the governor’s office, was investigating “a pattern of abusive behavior and flagrant violations of rent laws.”

Pavita Krishnaswamy, an attorney for the tenants, said Wasserman is targeting them because they are black. She said 20 of the 52 rent-stabilized apartments in the complex have been vacated since he took ownership and, according to the lawsuit, 14 of the 15 new tenants are white or Asian.

She said the lone black tenant who moved in after Wasserman bought the complex faced a 13.9 percent rent increase while rent for tenants of other races went up less than 3 percent.

Wilkinson, who has lived at the complex for 14 years, said once she figured out the landlord had not cashed her rent checks he offered her $15,000 to leave.

“I told him to take a walk,” Wilkinson said. “If you really want me to leave, take me to court.”

NYPD Disband Unit That Spied on Muslims

A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday.

NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department’s Intelligence Division.

An ongoing review of the division by new Police Commissioner William Bratton found that the same information collected by the unit could be better collected through direct contact with community groups, officials said.

In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, called the move “a critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys.”

The Demographics Unit, conceived with the help of a CIA agent working with the NYPD, assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Plainclothes officers infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and cataloged Muslims who adopted Americanized surnames.

After a series of stories by The Associated Press detailing the extent of the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims, two civil rights lawsuits were filed challenging the activities as unconstitutional because they focused on people’s religion, national origin and race.

Former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had defended the surveillance tactics, saying officers observed legal guidelines while attempting to create an early warning system for terrorism. But in a deposition made public in 2012, an NYPD chief testified that the unit’s work had never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation in the previous six years.

Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, said she was among a group of advocates at a private meeting last week with police brass at which the department’s new intelligence chief, John Miller, first indicated the unit wasn’t viable. She applauded the decision but said there’s still concern about the police use of informants to infiltrate mosques without evidence of crime.

“This was definitely a part of the big puzzle that we’re trying to get dismantled,” Sarsour said. But, she added, “This doesn’t necessarily prove to us yet that these very problematic practices are going to end.”

Another person at the meeting, Fahd Ahmed, legal and policy director of Desis Rising Up and Moving, called the decision “a small step.” He questioned what had happened to the information gathered by the unit.

“The concern wasn’t just about the fact that this data was being collected secretly – it was about the fact that this data was being collected at all,” he said.

The NYPD’s decision to disband the unit was first reported in The New York Times.

The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and the California-based Muslim Advocates, which represented eight New Jersey Muslims in a 2012 lawsuit challenging the spying program, welcomed the unit’s dismantling but expressed concern it wouldn’t stop the surveillance in Muslim communities.

“But nothing in the City’s announcement definitively suggests they will put an end to broad surveillance practices, which would continue to be illegal regardless of which department within the NYPD might be engaged in it,” they said in a statement.

New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman hailed the decision, saying police-community relations took a blow from the unit’s broad surveillance of all Muslims, not just people suspected of wrongdoing.

“We hope this means an end to the dragnet approach to policing that has been so harmful to police-community relations and a commitment to going after criminal suspicion, rather than innocent New Yorkers,” said Lieberman, whose organization is involved in lawsuits over the practice.

In Washington, 34 members of Congress had demanded a federal investigation into the NYPD’s actions. Attorney General Eric Holder said he was disturbed by reports about the operations, and the Department of Justice said it was reviewing complaints received from Muslims and their supporters.

The AP’s reporting also prompted an investigation by the CIA’s inspector general. That internal inquiry concluded that the CIA, which is prohibited from domestic spying, hadn’t broken any laws, but it criticized the agency for allowing an officer assigned to the NYPD to operate without sufficient supervision. (more…)

Man found with fatal gunshot wounds in Fort Greene

nypd-crime-scneThe NYPD is investigating after a 42-year-old man was found dead in front of an apartment building in Fort Greene.

Police say Armal Mallory was found with gunshot wounds to the head and torso.

The Brooklyn man was discovered unconscious and unresponsive in front of the Whitman Houses shortly after midnight Monday.

Police say he did not live in the building.

Mallory was pronounced dead at the scene.

(more…)

Man Wanted for Arson – 3 Churches in 3 Days

Police are seeking your assistance identifying the following individuals wanted in regards to three acts of arson which took place at three houses of worship in Brooklyn.

1. Saturday April 12, 2014 at 2:45 AM, in front of 303 East 98 Street(The Greater New Beginnings Church), the suspect lit a newspaper on fire burning the inside doorway of the location.

2. Sunday April 13, 2014 at 2:35 AM, inside of 1504 Pitkin Avenue (Inglesia Cristiana Church), the suspect tossed an unknown object through a closed window causing a small fire in the bathroom of the location that was quickly extinguished causing minor damage to the bathroom.

3. Monday April 14, 2014 at 6:40 AM, in front of 1417 Union Street (St. Mark’s), the suspect lit a newspaper on fire causing minor damage to the location.

 

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Brooklyn DA Announces the Felony Murder Indictment Related to the Death of NYPD Officer Dennis Guerra

Kings County District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson today announced the indictment of Marcell Dockery, 16, for a top count of felony murder for allegedly setting a fire that resulted in the death of NYPD Officer Dennis Guerra. If convicted, Dockery faces a maximum sentence of 25 years-to-life in prison.

“The senseless act of setting that fire tragically led to the death of NYPD Officer Dennis Guerra. His partner Officer Rosa Rodriguez suffered critical injuries. Both dedicated and courageous officers did not hesitate to risk their lives to save others. We will bring the Defendant to justice for these terrible and horrific crimes.”

Marcell Dockery is charged in an indictment with a top count of Felony Murder—causing a death of a person in the course of committing the crime of Arson.  According to court documents, Dockery set a mattress on fire on the 13th floor in the hallway of a high-rise building creating a smoke-filled environment. Officers Guerra and Rodriguez, acting as first responders, were both overcome by smoke.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Defendant Information:

Marcell Dockery

DOB: 11/21/97

Charges:

Murder in the Second Degree, or felony murder