Today’s news:

GAVEL TO GAVEL

TA: ‘They’re not our’ cops A negligence lawsuit filed against the Transit Authority was thrown out after it was made clear that the cops that allegedly failed to stop an attack on a teenage boy did not work for the subway, but rather the city. The suit was filed by the teen’s mother, who claimed that two patrolmen “failed to take corrective action” against an unruly group of teenage straphangers and opted to simply warn the plaintiff’s son to “avoid the last subway car.” While the teen apparently heeded the warning, the rowdy thugs didn’t and stabbed the teen after the cops had left, according to the lawsuit presided over by Judge Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix. During a recent hearing, the teen said that he was stabbed on January 9, 2007, by a teen that he had a previous argument with outside his school. The victim said that following a blow up in front of the school that afternoon, two officers followed the unruly crowd to a nearby J train station. When the teen arrived at the station and stepped onto an arriving subway train, he was stopped by the same two cops, who told him not to ride in the rear car, where the teen he was arguing with earlier was sitting, the victim told the judge. The victim remained in a car closer to the center of the train. When the cops disembarked, the teen that the victim was arguing with earlier found him and attacked, officials said. The victim’s mother claimed that the Transit Authority was culpable because they failed “to provide adequate police protection to a particular individual” and that the cops “should have taken affirmative action to protect [the victim] and his friends once they realized the danger posed by the individuals in the other subway car.” Ultimately, the cops assumed responsibility for the boy’s welfare once they warned him about the danger awaiting him in the rear car, the child’s mother alleged. Attorneys for the city claimed that the police’s warning to the teen was “not a basis upon which to impose liability” and that “the assignment of police officers to the ‘J’ train line did not constitute an affirmative undertaking to act on the plaintiff’s behalf and that no promises of protection were made to the infant.” The TA took a different approach, claiming that all allegations against them in the suit should be dropped because they have nothing to do with the cops that patrol the subway cars and stations. To back their claims, they provided Judge Hinds-Redix with a 1995 Memorandum of Understanding that announced the merger between the New York City Transit Police Department with the New York City Police Department. “Therefore, the police officers who encountered the plaintiff were employed by the city, not the TA,” attorneys said. Judge Hinds-Redix granted the TA’s motion to dismiss, but did not agree to dismiss the case against the NYPD, which she said could file further motions once more information about the attack is uncovered. Searching for justice A Brooklyn man called upon a judge to throw out his jail sentence last week, claiming that the six-year stint behind bars was “unduly harsh and excessive” and that the search of his vehicle that turned up the gun which sealed his fate was “fatally defective.” Despite Gary Williams pleas, Judge Robert K. Holdman dismissed the motion, claiming that one can’t challenge a search in a case that he had already pleaded guilty to. It also turned out that the sentence did not initially stem from his plea deal, but by reneging on the initial agreement with prosecutors in which all he had to do was complete a program. In papers brought before Justice Holdman last month, Williams was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana on April 13, 2006, after he was found double parked in a 1996 Ford Taurus at the corner of East 55th Street and Church Avenue in East Flatbush. According to police reports brought before the judge, cops ran the plate on the Taurus and learned that it belonged to a 1999 Chevrolet Beretta. When the cops approached, Williams could not provide them with either a driver’s license or the car’s registration. That’s when one of the cops “observed the back of a silver .380 semi-automatic gun between the front driver and passenger seats” as he shined his flashlight into the cabin. A bag of marijuana was also found. After he was arrested and indicted, Williams agreed to plead guilty with the understanding that he would have to complete a “Fortune Society” program. If he completed the program, he would be spared jail time and instead undergo a period of “intensive supervision probation.” But, according to court records, Williams never completed the program. Williams was given ample opportunity to explain himself, but he never did. For violating his plea deal, he was ultimately sentenced to six years. Although Williams claimed that the sentence was “harsh,” especially when compared to the cushy sentence he would have received if he had completed the program, Judge Holdman denied the motion. “[Williams] was told at the time of the plea that the promised sentence of intensive supervision probation was conditioned upon successful completion of the Fortune Society program, and that if he failed to comply with the conditions he would be facing a sentence of incarceration of seven years in prison,” Judge Holdman wrote. Holdman also dismissed the illegal search allegations, claiming that “by pleading guilty [Williams] gave up the right to contest the legality of police action in recovering evidence, and the right to raise any defense to the charges.”

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