The NYPD sergeant and cop involved in the fatal shooting of Brooklyn 16-year-old Kimani Gray have been named in five federal lawsuits — which cost the city a total of $215,000 in settlements, court records show.
Sgt. Mourad Mourad racked up three suits while he was a plainclothes cop on Staten Island, and Officer Jovaniel Cordova racked up two at Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct — all alleging various civil rights violations including illegal stop and search and false arrest.
Prosecutors later dismissed all but one of the arrests against the six plaintiffs, and the criminal cases were sealed.
Mourad and Cordova had been placed on desk duty while the NYPD and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the March 9 shooting in East Flatbush that has since sparked ‘riots’. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said Gray was shot after he pointed a .38-caliber revolver at the sergeant and cop, who had approached a group of youths on the street.
A woman who told the Daily News she witnessed the shooting from her apartment window said Gray did not have a gun in his hand. She previously told Internal Affairs investigators she couldn’t see what the kids were doing “from the angle I was at.” (which was a distance away from where he was shot).
The settlements in the prior cases ranged from $20,000 to $92,500, with no admission of wrongdoing by the city.
“Our clients’ interactions with Sgt. Mourad and Officer Cordova expose a disturbing pattern of unconstitutional and aggressive stop-and-frisk practices,” said lawyer Brett Klein, who filed four of the five suits.
“In each case, Mourad and Cordova attempted to cover up their misconduct by falsifying and fabricating evidence.”
The suits are:
Derek Franks received a $92,500 settlement for a suit against Mourad and other unidentified cops, alleging he was illegally stopped and frisked on May 7, 2007. He spent four months in Rikers Island until charges were dropped.
Andre Maraj and Dary Harville each received $22,500 settlements, which alleged they were falsely arrested by Mourad and others. Harville claimed he was “slammed” into a car.
Peter Owusu received $22,500 for the “emotional distress” he suffered as a result of a car stop and arrest by Cordova. Owusu claims he was placed facedown in a puddle and handcuffed. He later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Steve Morency got $35,000 after accusing Cordova of an illegal stop inside an E. 17th St. building. Morency claimed he was punched in the face and needed three stitches to close a cut above his eye.
Jontel Sebbern received $20,000 stemming from his arrest after a car stop. He was ordered out of the car by Mourad and others, who frisked him and pulled his pants and underwear.
“You can take me to the precinct but you’re not going in my underwear here,” Sebbern told the cops, says the complaint.
Editors Note: Today, Saturday March 16th, makes one week since Kimani was killed. There will be another protest at 55th street and Church ave. at 7pm. We’re expecting a large turnout, come by if you can.