High-Ranking FBI Agent Convicted of Assaulting Teen at Gunpoint Receives Probation, Keeps Job as Counterterrorism Chief - PINAC News
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High-Ranking FBI Agent Convicted of Assaulting Teen at Gunpoint Receives Probation, Keeps Job as Counterterrorism Chief

The high-ranking FBI Agent who was convicted for assaulting a teenager last year, shoving the 15-year-old down and pulling a gun on him while intervening in a custodial dispute that had nothing to do with him, was sentenced to probation Wednesday, meaning he will be allowed to keep his job.

After all, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Steven Salant told a courtroom packed with FBI Agents, it would be in the “best interest of the defendant.”

The decision meant that the defendant, Gerald Rogero, was not rushed to the hospital after fainting in the courtroom – as he did in November moments after learning that a jury had convicted him.

Three FBI colleagues, who were not at the scene, were allowed to speak in court on his behalf, “describing a committed, caring colleague with outstanding performance reviews,” according to the Washington Post.

And that apparently had an affect on the judge’s decision:

“Would it be in the best interest of the defendant — as a result of this isolated and unfortunate mistake of judgment — to deprive him of his employment, of his livelihood?” Salant asked from the bench, speaking to a courtroom packed with FBI agents supporting their colleague as well as friends and family supporting the teenager. “To impact upon his children? To impact upon the service that he can bring to the community? I think not.”

Rogero, 46, will likely resume his role as unit chief for the FBI’s counterterrorism division, where the idea is to convince people he is keeping them safe.

But safety did not seem to be high on his priority list on the night of December 5, 2014 in Chevy Chase, Maryland when he took it upon himself to intervene in a custodial dispute between his female friend and her ex-husband, who was late in returning their baby.

The seven-minute video shows Rogero wasted no time in confronting the baby’s father, demanding to know why he was late in dropping off the child.

“You’re already two hours late,” Rogero told the father, who was still holding the little girl in his arms after stepping inside the lobby of his estranged wife’s apartment lobby.

“I’m sorry, who are you?” the father asked, bewildered at the stranger confronting him about personal family matters.

“You don’t need to worry who I am,” Rogero said before walking towards the father.

“If you come close to me, I will call the police,” the father warned, not realizing that the man was a federal agent.

The father then steps around the fed, hands the child off to a young woman, possibly his daughter, then attempts to walk outside.

But Rogero was angered that the father had threatened to call the cops on him, so he followed him outside, trying to bait him into a confrontation.

“No, call the police, you say you want to call police, call them,” Rogero taunted, figuring his badged brothers would back him up no matter what.

“He’s being disrespectful,” Rogero told the man’s girlfriend, a man accustomed to being worshipped for his badge.

“Because if you know you’re going to be late, out of courtesy, why don’t you tell her I’m going to be late,” he told the father.

“I did,” the father responded.

“No, you called after 9 o’clock,” he said. “If you know you’re going to be late, she’s a friend of mine.”

The 15-year-old boy piped in, telling Rogero to mind his own business.

That led to Rogero shoving the boy hard in the chest, sending him sprawling, then pulling a gun on him.

“If I have to shoot you, I will,” he threatened.

But the boy nor anybody else in his group did not even know he was a federal agent.

That is, until he pulled out his badge, hung it from his pocket, telling the husband that “I’m in my capacity 24 hours a day.”

Of course, it would have helped had he pulled out the badge in the first place since he believed it was his role to scold the father for being late with the baby.

When local police arrived, Rogero began lying, painting himself to be the victim.

“He threatened me, the husband threatened me,” Rogero lied to the cop, not explaining that the father only threatened to call the cops on him because he was being threatening.

“And then he came up and told me, ‘I’ll kick your ass,’” Rogero continued lying, referring to the teen on the ground.

“That’s a lie, officer,” the teen said, still facedown on the sidewalk.

The teen, Alexandro Farooq, filed a complaint against Rogero, which led to criminal charges against him.

According to the Washington Post:

In Alexandro Farooq’s affidavit, he claimed that Rogero punched him with the palm of his hand, sending him flailing, and then dragged him “to a confined darker place without cameras.” Farooq also alleged that Rogero pushed his weapon so close to him that he felt “a cold sensation of a gun” on his temple, according to court records.

In October, county prosecutors brought Rogero to trial on charges of first-degree assault, use of a firearm in a violent crime and second-degree assault.

The first two counts related to Rogero pointing his gun at the teenager.

The cellphone video, which was played in court, clearly showed the agent shoving the teenager and him drawing his gun and pointing it at the teenager. It did not appear to show Rogero dragging Farooq to a dark area or placing his gun against the boy’s head.

The jury acquitted Rogero of first-degree assault and the gun charge, decisions that suggest jurors concluded that Rogero had acted illegally only as it related to the shove.

In court Wednesday, Rogero said that when Alexandro Farooq got close to him, the teenager threatened him. “I reacted instinctively to push Alex away,” he said.

Besides his two-year probation, Rogero must attend anger management class, which should be a requirement for all cops, at least once a year.

Judge Salant also pointed out that Rogero is a single father of three daughters who exhibited “an unfortunate mistake of judgment.”

The decision by Montgomery County Circuit Judge Steven Salant clears the way for Gerald Rogero, a unit chief in the FBI’s counterterrorism division, to continue his duties. Rogero has three daughters — two in college, one in high school — whom he has raised as a single father after the sudden death of his wife in 2008.

“Would it be in the best interest of the defendant — as a result of this isolated and unfortunate mistake of judgment — to deprive him of his employment, of his livelihood?” Salant asked from the bench, speaking to a courtroom packed with FBI agents supporting their colleague as well as friends and family supporting the teenager. “To impact upon his children? To impact upon the service that he can bring to the community? I think not.”

The problem with that decision is that it continues to send the message to all law enforcement officers that they are above the law, as Rogero demonstrated that night.

Pulling a gun on a teenager who had no idea he was a federal agent and was only trying to stop him from harassing his mother’s boyfriend is inexcusable.

And while he may not have had a prior criminal record, that is only probably because he had never been caught on video before.

And that assumption that FBI Agents are more professional and law-abiding than local or state cops? Obviously just another myth.

 

 

 

 

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