Friday, April 07, 2017
Victim beaten half-blind by Hasidic Brooklyn man accuses city of cozy ties to his attacker’s community in suit
A Brooklyn man who wasted no time fighting his conviction for a gang beating that left a gay black man half blind is now trying to litigate his way out of a related federal civil case.
Taj Patterson is suing Mayer Herskovic, the city and others after a vicious 2013 assault.
Patterson filed his civil rights case in June 2016 — about six months before Herskovic got a four-year sentence this past January for gang assault.
Herskovic is appealing the case, where prosecutors say they found his DNA on Patterson's sneaker.
The lawsuit claims there's way too cozy a relationship between orthodox Jewish neighborhood watch groups in Brooklyn and the NYPD.
Patterson said these blurred lines led to the Shomrim, a Jewish neighborhood patrol, to play a larger role and, ultimately, the assault.
In court papers filed in Brooklyn federal court, Herskovic's lawyer, Amy Marion, rejected the notion that her client was in cahoots with cops and prosecutors who ultimately brought a case against him.
She repeated the idea that Herskovic was no big wheel at Thursday's court conference.
Herskovic, who is Hasidic, wasn't associated with the Shomrim and didn't have a Shomrim jacket, she said.
"The state prosecutor needed somebody to grab" and that was Herskovic, according to Marion. She couldn't recall a prosecution case with less evidence in her 30 years of defense work, Marion said.
Garaufis added, "This is a little more complicated than your normal police brutality case," the judge said.
He noted the dismissal bids, but said "it sounds like a lot of the claims might need some examination."
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