Grand jury 'to indict officers in subway sodomy case'
A grand jury has reportedly decided to indict three police officers over allegations that a man was sodomized with a police baton after being seen smoking marijuana outside a Brooklyn subway station last October.
The victim, Michael Mineo, called Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show on Monday to thank the Brooklyn district attorney and the grand jury. He told Sharpton, "At first a lot of people weren't believing me, but you know I left it in God's hands."
Mineo claims that Officer Richard Kern sodomized him with a collapsible police baton, while the other cops held him down, after they chased him into the subway. But instead of being arrested, Mineo was let go with a summons for disorderly conduct.
The Associated Press now reports that the three patrolmen will surrender after having been notified that they face criminal charges in the case.
According to a New York Times report, Mineo's lawyers "said the attack left Mr. Mineo with a tear to his rectum that became abscessed and had to be surgically drained." While the hospital records haven't been publicly released, his lawyers maintain that they "showed that Mr. Mineo had suffered from an 'anal assault,' and that the diagnosis reflected an independent medical conclusion. One law enforcement official said Mr. Mineo suffered a tear to his rectum that was both internal and external," the paper reported.
Mineo, who says he still suffers pain from his injury, told the New York Post, "I'm looking forward to my day in court. ... This man ... doesn't deserve to be on the street. I want him to go to jail."
The grand jury indictment has not yet been unsealed, but sources report that Kern will be charged on Tuesday with either assault or aggravated sexual assault, while two other officers will face lesser charges. Mineo's attorneys also plan to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.
The Daily News revealed last month that New York City paid $50,000 earlier this year to settle a police brutality suit brought against Kern and another officer
Although the New York Police Department initially denied Mineo's charges, citing some onlookers who said they had not witnessed the alleged assault, other witnesses said they saw the officers punching Mineo and kicking him in the head and that his pants were pulled down.
Sharpton was the first prominent figure to support Mineo and led the call for an independent investigation. He told reporters on Monday, "I think the outrage of this case is that the Internal Affairs Department of the New York City Police Department repeatedly said that there was no grounds to believe Michael Mineo."
Mineo's doctors testified to his injuries before the grand jury, and the jurors were particularly convinced by evidence that Mineo's DNA had been found on a piece of equipment belonging to Officer Kern.
One of the other transit officers also testified that he had seen Kern place his baton across Mineo's buttocks as he was being handcuffed. Mineo expressed gratitude to that officer when he spoke to the Post on Monday, saying. "He's a good dude. I appreciate it because without him, I would still be in limbo."
This video is from CBS 2 News, broadcast Dec. 8, 2008.
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