Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Federal Judge: Rochester, NY Cop Once Involved in Ticket-Fixing Scandal, Violated Woman's Constitutional Rights


United States District Magistrate Judge Marian Payson

By Davy V.

A Federal Judge has ruled that a Rochester, NY Police officer violated a woman's constitutional rights when he pepper-sprayed and falsely arrested her, after she called police.

In July of 2010, Miriam McKnight called 911 to report a stabbing in the driveway of one of her neighbor's homes, where a party was being held.

Rochester, NY Police officer Gregory Vasile and Sgt. Mike Nichols responded.

Officer Vasile began to cordon off the area with yellow crime scene tape, and tied the tape to McKinght's porch.

McKinght told Officer Vasile that the stabbing didn't occur on her property, and that she didn't want the yellow tape tied to her property all night.

That's when Rochester Police Officer Gregory Vasile ordered McKinght to turn around.

"Put your hands behind your back, I've had enough of this shit," Vasile told McKnight.

Confused and upset, McKnight pulled away from Vasile.

That's when Officer Vasile pepper-sprayed McKinght, and charged her with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, commonly referred to as "O.G.A."

Both charges are commonly used by the Rochester, NY Police Department whenever they want to charge someone with something, but are not sure what to charge them with.

In other words, they're bullshit charges, and are often used together.

In McKnight s case, she ended up accepting sn adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, or "ACD", which basically means that the defendant is on the hook for a set period of time.

If they're not charged with any new "crimes" during that time period, their original charge will be dismissed.

If they are charged with any new "crimes", the original charge will be renewed.

Miriam McKnight filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Rochester, NY, Rochester Police Officer Gregory Vasile, and Rochester Police Sgt. Mike Nichols, who assisted Vasile in her arrest.


When police arrived, Miriam McKinght had her cell phone in her hand.

And she pressed record.

McKinght was able to record a 13-second audio clip off her conversation with officer Vasile, immediately before he arrested her.

That 13-second audio recording is what helped Judge Payson see a lying Rochester, NY cop.

United States Magistrate Judge Marian Payson ruled that Rochester, NY Police Officer Gregory Vasile had no legal reason to arrest McKnight.

In her decision, Judge Payson wrote that in court testimony, Rochester Policd Officer Vasile provided a different account of the arrest.

Officer Vasile claimed that Miriam McKinght interfered in his ability to secure the crime scene.

He also said that he told McKnight that she was under arrest.

In her decision Judge Payson wrote that McKnight's audio recording "undercuts (Vasile's) suggestion that McKnight was actually interfering with Vasile's ability to secure the crime scene."


Judge Payson relied on McKnight's recording, which showed Officer Vasile was lying.

"During those 13 seconds, Vasile never issued McKnight any orders that she failed to obey or warned her that her behavior could result in arrest," Judge Payson wrote.

Judge Payson ruled that Officer Vasile did not have legal cause to decide that Miriam McKnight was interfering with his duties.

"While Vasile's interest in defusing that (crime scene) volatility and securing the scene was appropriate, his actions towards the civilians at the scene, be they suspects, witnesses, or bystanders, were still required to be bounded by the law and the Constitution," Judge Payton wrote.

Judge Payson ruled in favor of Miriam McKnight on her claims of false arrest, false inprisonment and battery.

Payson also decided that Rochester, NY Police Sgt. Mike Nichols did not violate Miriam McKnight's constitutional rights because when he intervened and assisted in McKnight's arrest, he was doing so thinking that Officer Vasile was conducting a lawful arrest.

As a result of the false arrest, Miriam McKnight suffered not only cuts and bruises on her arms from the handcuffs and from being manhandled by police, but she also suffered emotional scars.

Judge Payson will decide on monetary awards due McKnight, at a later date.

Now consider this.

Miriam McKnight's case is just one of thousands of cases of abuse on behalf of rogie, overzealous Rochester, NY cops who violate innocent citizens' constitutional rights every year.

Most incidents of police abuse go unreported.

And very few even get to see court, let alone becone part of a lawsuit.


If the name Gregory Vasile sounds familiar, it should.

In 2012, I wrote about Rochester, NY Police Officer Gregory Vasile's connection to a ticket fixing scandal involving the Rochester, NY Police Department, where senior members of the RPD voided tickets issued to off duty Rochester, NY cops and their family members.



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