Tuesday, June 28, 2016
A gay black man who was brutally beaten in 2013 by a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men blames the attack on the ongoing NYPD corruption scandal, a new lawsuit filed Monday says.
Taj Patterson accuses the city and police officials of being in bed with members of the Shomrim — saying the Satmar watchdog patrol group has for years been given "favorable and preferential treatment," the Brooklyn federal court complaint says.
Patterson, who is openly gay, was left permanently blind in the left eye from the beat-down in Williamsburg, allegedly by the group of Hasidic patrolmen.
Five were ultimately arrested — but Patterson says in his suit that the investigation was bungled and prematurely closed after Shomrim members made calls to the 90th Precinct.
The now 25-year-old says the city is responsible for his serious injuries because it's allowed the close-knit relationship between the two groups to continue for years.
"Taj Patterson's brutal beating, and his lack of access to adequate justice, was the inevitable result of the city's refusal to address these issues," the suit says.
One of the attackers, Pinchas Braver, received "special treatment and rewards from the NYPD," including getting a tour of the 19th precinct — which was then run by ex-Deputy Inspector James Grant.
Grant was recently arrested with other NYPD officials on charges they took bribes from Jewish businessmen.
At the time of Patterson's attack, the 90th Precinct was led by Commander Mark DiPaolo, who allegedly took a trip to Israel with former Chief of Department Phillip Banks that was paid for by
politically connected Jewish businessmen, the lawsuit notes.
In May, Abraham Winkler and Braver pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the attack in exchange for three years' probation.
A third attacker, Mayer Herskovic, is headed to trial and charges against two others were dismissed.
A city Law Department spokesman said that the complaint will be reviewed.
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