Sgts. Union Demands Ouster of IAB Chief Over ‘Unfair’ Grilling

November 25, 2013 - 5 minutes read


The head of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau should lose his job because of the way his people interrogated the wife of an off-duty Sergeant who was attacked and severely beaten outside a Queens nightclub Nov. 17, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association said last week.
“IAB overstepped their boundaries,” Edward D. Mullins told THE CHIEF-LEADER. “IAB has a culture where they’re extending themselves beyond doing their duty.”

A Brutal Attack

The Sergeant, Mohamed Deen, 40, was arguing with Hayden Holder, 29, when Mr. Holder abruptly knocked him to the ground, kicking and punching him and smashing his head against the sidewalk. A passerby videotaped the assault on his cell phone.

Mr. Holder then attempted to break the windows of Mr. Deen’s car as the Sergeant’s wife sat inside. When he was unsuccessful, he returned to the unconscious Mr. Deen and continued to beat him. Police arriving at the scene arrested Mr. Holder a block away. He was charged with attempted murder and held without bail after prosecutors cited the savagery of the attack.

Condition Upgraded

Mr. Deen was taken to Jamaica Hospital in serious condition. Doctors put him into a medically induced coma, but within a couple of days his condition improved enough for him to talk to family members. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the Sergeant suffered multiple fractures to his face and a brain hemorrhage. The 19-year veteran is assigned to the 32nd Precinct in Harlem.
Mr. Mullins said representatives from IAB, first a Sergeant and then a Lieutenant, arrived at the hospital, took Mrs. Deen into a separate room, by herself, and taped their interrogation.

“They were asking questions like, ‘Is he an aggressive guy?’ ‘Does he have a drinking problem?’” Mr. Mullins said.

“What difference would it have made if he had one drink, or five drinks?” Mr. Mullins continued. “He was clearly the victim here. IAB’s questioning was like a rape victim being told she was asking for it because she was wearing a short skirt.”
In response, NYPD spokesman John McCarthy said, “It is standard procedure for Detectives to interview witnesses to a criminal incident that results in a member of the department being severely injured.”

An SBA statement said, “The IAB investigators refused to cease their interrogation of Mrs. Deen, despite pleas from family members and SBA representatives to allow her uninterrupted time with her newlywed husband, who at the time doctors had determined, according to prosecutors, was ‘likely to die.’” The SBA said the Deen family had to call a lawyer to get IAB to back off.

‘IAB Shouldn’t Be Involved’

“Under no circumstances should IAB have had an involvement in this case,” Mr. Mullins said, “particularly when Detectives from the 106th Precinct had already made an arrest and gathered all relevant evidence.”

Mr. Mullins said this type of participation in an investigation is not unusual under the three-star Chief of Internal Affairs, Charles V. Campisi, who has run the bureau for 20 years.

“Chief Campisi has repeatedly flaunted his authority and launched unfair and unnecessary investigations into members of the Department,” he said. “This unwarranted intrusion into the privacy of the Deen family at an emotional time is simply another example of Chief Campisi’s failure to understand his role: though there may be no evidence of misconduct by a member of the NYPD, Chief Campisi will spare no expense to concoct some. His time as Chief of the Internal Affairs Bureau has run its course.”

Wants Campisi Gone

Mr. Mullins called for Mr. Campisi to resign and, if he does not do so, for Mr. Kelly to dismiss him. “Kelly has a responsibility to fire an incompetent Chief,” Mr. Mullins said.

The SBA president noted that every corruption scandal in the past 20 years has occurred on Mr. Campisi’s watch, yet he has managed to survive. “No failure-to-supervise [charges] here,” he said.