An off-chance run-in with a man on the street asking for directions – who just happened to become a notorious cop killer – left a man fearing for his life after a pair of NYPD cops routinely harassed him before they brutally beat him last October.
But now those two New York City cops are facing jail time, according to the New York Times.
Detectives Angelo Pampena and Robert Carbone were both charged assault. While Pampena faces additional charges of second-degree perjury and first-degree offering a false statement after beating the mailman.
It all started in December 2014 when Ismaaiyl Brinsley asked Karim Baker for directions to Marcy Houses in Brooklyn. Brinsley then went on to kill NYPD Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in execution style as they sat in their patrol car.
Baker, who was delivering packages for Federal Express that day, said he was unaware that Brinsley was planning on killing cops. On that fateful day of December 2014, Baker gave directions to Brinsley who was only a few blocks away from the Marcy housing projects.
After killing the officers, Brinsley ran to a nearby subway station house where he committed suicide. Baker immediately came forward to provide a statement regarding his interactions with Brinsley and has cooperated fully with the investigation.
And the story should have ended there, but Baker claims that NYPD officers began harassing him over the next few months, pulling him over more than 20 times.
The by-chance meeting has created havoc in Baker’s life, and Baker has now had to change jobs and works for the United States Postal Service.
The incidental meeting led to Baker being beaten by Pampena and Carbone on October 21, 2015, who feel that Baker is somehow responsible for Brinsley actions.
In October, Baker was attempting to get into his vehicle as two unmarked police vehicles swarmed in and boxed his vehicle in. Baker hopped into his vehicle and dialed 911 as the two detectives rushed to either side of the car. Baker’s attorney Eric Subin said “in surveillance video of the incident, you can see officers reaching into the vehicle grabbing at his phone attempting to stop him from making an emergency call.”
That video has not yet been released.
Detectives then dragged him from the vehicle as they continued pummel him as they placed him on the sidewalk. Baker stated that officers had their foot on his head and neck.
Officers were not satisfied with assaulting Baker, they charged him with resisting arrest and parking too close to a fire hydrant. It is unclear what happened with those charges, but a federal lawsuit would require criminal charges be dismissed before a suit can proceed.
NYPD claims they do not document stops which do not result in tickets or a summons to appear. While it may save paperwork and man hours, it shows that so many police interactions in the nation’s most populous city go undocumented, perhaps willfully.
We know that the change of jobs to a Postal worker doesn’t exempt him from harassment and retaliation as we know from a previous false arrest of a New York Postal Worker.