New York, NY — All too often we hear the police apologist crowd rattle off talking points like, “if you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” However, time and time again, these people are proven wrong when cops are caught framing innocent people by planting or fabricating evidence to falsely arrest them. The following case out of New York and subsequent lawsuit highlights this serious problem.
Last year, Omar Prescott, of Flatbush, was targeted by police for a traffic stop for allegedly making an improper u-turn. According to a recently filed lawsuit against the NYPD, the officer involved in the stop was Officer Carlo Cassata.
As Prescott parked his Chevrolet Suburban outside his home in Brooklyn, Cassata approached him and started his fishing expedition.
The NY Post recently obtained body camera footage from this incident as part of a lawsuit by Prescott which shows Cassata allegedly planting a stun gun in Prescott’s glove box. After planting the weapon, Cassata then charged Prescott with an illegal weapons charge.
Cassata also accused Prescott of having marijuana which made the weapons charge that much worse. According to the Post, “the cop is seen holding a stun gun in his hand then searching around Prescott’s car. Then the officer backs away from the vehicle, turns on the sound on his body cam, leans back into Prescott’s vehicle and pulls what appears to be the same stun gun from the glove compartment.”
After claiming to find the illegal weapon in Prescott’s vehicle, this arguably entirely innocent man was arrested and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and marijuana possession.
Luckily for Prescott, however, the body camera footage did not lie and captured the crooked cop planting the weapon, according to the lawsuit. When the case went before the court, the judge threw out all the charges.
“Cops should be on the street to protect and serve, not to plant guns and manufacture evidence, as clearly shown in this bodycam video,” said Caitlin Robin, the managing partner at the firm representing Prescott in the case, according to the Post.
“Thank goodness for cops wearing body cameras — and thank goodness this cop was unaware his was on when he planted the stun gun,” she added.
The NYPD is now choosing to remain silent in the face of this controversy and officer Cassata’s employment status within the department is currently unknown.
If you are one of those folks who think that cops planting evidence on innocent people is an isolated incident, you should think again. It happens frequently.
TFTP recently reported on a police chief in Florida who used to brag about solving 100 percent of the town’s crimes. However, he admitted to how he accomplished such an impossible feat — he framed innocent black people.
As TFTP previously reported, the Miami Herald details that on multiple occasions, former chief Atesiano told his cops to target random black people and charge them with crimes in open cases so they could boast their clearance rate — which is defined as the amount of open cases solved by the department.
According to the Miami Herald, Atesiano, 52, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge of depriving the three suspects of their civil rights because he and the officers framed them. Although race was not a factor in the federal case against the former police chief, the three wrongly arrested men are black.
“If they have burglaries that are open cases that are not solved yet, if you see anybody black walking through our streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries,” one cop, Anthony De La Torre, said in an internal probe ordered in 2014, according to the Herald. “They were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.”