Police Insurrection: Vigilante Cops in Patchogue

RE:  Vigilante Cops in the Incorporated Village of Patchogue

The Incorporated Village of Patchogue created an illegal constabulary or “fake” police department, corrupting many aspects of government and in order to undermine the minority population and drive the immigrants out. These village employees wore illegal uniforms, ticketed civilians and were armed  with crowd control deadly force.

The corruption of the Incorporated Village of Patchogue’s constabulary coincides with the Incorporated Village of Patchogue’s redevelopment. The Village’s used federal and state monies to fund its redevelopment through the New York State Department of State, Division of Coastal Resources Local Waterfront Redevelopment Program, which has federal regulations and guidelines that were violated.

One objective of the Village’s redevelopment included the pushing out of minorities and lower income people out of the Incorporated Village of Patchogue. The “shock and awe” fear of an unlawful illegally armed police force was particularly effective in pushing undesirables out the Incorporated Village of Patchogue’s boundaries. The Incorporated Village of Patchogue’s employees, posing as constables, threatened deadly force and coerced residents to give up their rights, which would have otherwise been protected under New York State and Suffolk County laws. Residents were faced with fines, arrests, unwarranted inspections, harassment, and threats of assault with illegal firearms.

Proof and admissions the Constables were volatile of Suffolk County law

On June 23, 2008, Brian Egan, the new Incorporated Village of Patchogue Attorney, finally publicly admitted that the practice of carrying firearms was illegal. Attorney Brian Egan declared that the arming of their personnel violated not one, but three laws, and possibly violated the oaths of office of those who were involved. The admission of Mr. Egan goes to the heart of the Incorporated Village of Patchogue’s ability to illegally maintain an unlawful and illegitimate policing force.

I an effort to obtain copies of guns permits, I contacted the Suffolk County Police Permits Division and used the New York Freedom of Information; they refused to allow me access to the Incorporated Village of Patchogue employee pistol permits. These pistol permits would have shown the permits used by these employees were unlawful.

The previous Village of Patchogue Chief Constables, Mr. Tameo and Mr. Kratch, who oversaw the Incorporated Village of Patchogue employees unlawfully deemed “Constables,” have admitted in sworn statements of having participated in the this illegal scheme. Mr. Tameo and Mr. Kratch directed Incorporated Village of Patchogue employees, not recognized as Constables, but nevertheless acting like Constables to stop and detain Suffolk County motorists as they drove through the Village [Contrary to law, no provisions to thwart racial profiling were in existence, see below ]. Mr. Tameo and Mr. Kratch testified that they thought their practices were sanctioned by the District Attorney’s Officer, because this agency prosecuted the tickets.

In 2006, Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri conceded in a public forum in accepting the Wood v Incorporated Village of Patchogue, et al, Index No. 01-CV-0229 (the “Wood Case”), class action settlement because the actions of detaining motorists was wrong and that the Village would cease the practice.

In the Wood Case, the Incorporated Village of Patchogue had to pay back motorists for these unlawful tickets as part of the Class Action suit settlement with Suffolk County residents. However, at the time no one realized that the Village of Patchogue’s Constabulary was illegal, unauthorized and lacking federal regulations concerning racial profiling.

The Incorporated Village of Patchogue has failed to fully live up to its settlement.  They failed to comply with making the best efforts to heal the motorist driving records. Most importantly, the suit never alleged or resolved the issue of racial profiling. Upon information and belief, the Village has stopped the practice of detaining motorists, but no one has had sufficient access to Village records to investigate the racial bias of the illegal police activity. I used the New York State Freedom of Information Law to obtain information, including the Incorporated Village of Patchogue’s rules concerning racial and national origin profiling instructions and they responded that the Village lacks any instructions.

Due to the recent death of Marcelo Lucero, a Latino immigrant, the Village of Patchogue’s officials attempted to distance themselves from the illegal constable scheme. I spoke at the Incorporated Village of Patchogue Board of Trustee public meeting on or about Monday, December 8, 2008, and when I asked whether the Village would continue to use the title of “Constable,” I was informed by Brian Egan, Village Attorney, Steve McGiff, Deputy Mayor, and Mayor Paul Pontieri, that during the present administration (2004 to present) the “Village never called its employees ‘Constables.’” “never used the term,” “don’t know what you are talking about.” This is a deception.

Furthermore, the Incorporated Village of Patchogue Public Safety code enforcement or Public Safety Departments, or its officers, are defective in that it fails to maintain the minimum standards required by the State of New York. There is no official reporting and therefore, no transparency. This allows the Incorporated Village of Patchogue to run an unlawful and unauthorized Constabulary, a “fake” police department, with the intent to discriminate against minorities.

Suffolk County’s Failure to Protect Village of Patchogue residents:

Suffolk County Officials Knew That The Incorporated Village of Patchogue Was Running An Unlawful Policing Department in The Form of Office of The Village Constables and Did Nothing About It

Sergeant Santa Maria of the Suffolk County Police Department was present at the 1994 enactment of Local Law #9, Chapter 7, of the Village of Patchogue Code, which falsely and deceptively passed a law that allowed the Incorporated Village of Patchogue policing power. The Suffolk County Police Department’s presence condones this illegal act.

Furthermore, the Suffolk County Police Department worked in conjunction with the Incorporated Village of Patchogue Constables, even though they had knowledge of their illegal power and were duty-bound to shut the organization down and arrest those village employees who were impersonating officers. Suffolk County allowed the Incorporated Village of Patchogue Constables to enter crime scenes and to piggy back upon their official privileged access. Furthermore, Suffolk Police Department shared information with Incorporated Village of Patchogue Constables. Upon investigation from the proper authorities, evidence may emerge that the corruption of the Incorporation Village of Patchogue departments started the corrupting of the Suffolk County Police Department and other policing agencies.

The Suffolk County Police Department may have rewarded its auxiliary police force members with opportunities to participate in the illegal Incorporated Village of Patchogue unauthorized and illegal policing force. The Suffolk County Civil Service Department not authorize the practice nor recognized the title “constable” or the practice of carrying guns and told the Village to cease the practice. Many of the Village’s Constables were ex Suffolk Police Department auxiliary police, which in the late 1990’s Suffolk County’s Sherriff’s office trained. This training was illegal and further added to the illusion that the Incorporated Village of Patchogue employees’ policing power was legitimate. Also there was a sharing of personnel between the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Incorporated Village of Patchogue, case in point, Mr. Al Costello, who posed as a Village constable. This professional collusion caused the Suffolk Police Department to turn a blind eye to a policing entity that Suffolk Police Department knew was illegal, dangerous and discriminatory.

When complaints were made to Suffolk District Attorney’s office about the Incorporated Village of Patchogue’s illegal policing force, Darryl Burger, investigating for the District Attorney’s Office said “we can’t tell if the constables are legal or illegal. Our staff lacks the resources to make this determination.” Mr. Burger may have made this statement to conceal wrongdoing on the part of the Incorporated Village of Patchogue policing force. Other members of the District Attorney’s Office then proceeded to make improper determinations in order to protect Suffolk County Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office and to obscure the facts and avoid investigating a criminal matter that both the Suffolk County Police and the District Attorney’s Office were involved in. The result is that Suffolk County residents have been harmed and injustice has prevailed.

The Incorporated Village of Patchogue had willfully violated the following Federal Laws:

Conspiracy Against Rights, 18 U.S.C. § 241. Section 241 of Title 18 is the civil rights conspiracy statute. Section 241 makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). Unlike most conspiracy statutes, Section 241 does not require that one of the conspirators commit an overt act prior to the conspiracy becoming a crime. The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing, 42 U.S.C. § 3631. Section 3631 of Title 42 makes it unlawful for an individual to use force or threaten to use force to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person’s housing rights because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Among those housing rights enumerated in the statute are: 1) the sale, purchase, or renting of a dwelling, 2) the occupation of dwelling, 3) the financing of a dwelling, 4) contracting or negotiating for any of the rights enumerated above, and 5) applying for or participating in any service, organizations, or facility relating to the sale or rental of dwellings.

This statute also makes it unlawful to use force or threaten to use force to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person who is assisting an individual or class of persons in the exercise of their housing rights. The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law, 18 U.S.C. § 242. This provision makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

Federally Protected Activities, 18 U.S.C. § 245. The portion of Section 245 of Title 18 which is primarily enforced by the Criminal Section makes it unlawful to willfully injure, intimidate or interfere with any person, or to attempt to do so, by force or threat of force, because of that other person’s race, color, religion or national origin and because of his/her activity as one of the following:

  • A participant in a benefit, service, privilege, program, facility or activity provided or administered by a state or local government;
  • A traveler or user of a facility of interstate commerce or common carrier;
  • A patron of a public accommodation or place of exhibition or entertainment, including hotels, motels, restaurants, lunchrooms, bars, gas stations, theaters, concert halls, sports arenas or stadiums.

This statute also prohibits willful interference, by force or threat of force, with a person because he/she is or was participating in, or aiding or encouraging other persons to participate in any of the benefits or activities listed above without discrimination as to race, color, religion, or national origin. The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

Cesar Perales, President and General Counsel of Latino Justice, an advocacy group said an investigation was “…akin to the Justice Department going into Mississippi in the civil rights era to investigate murders by the Ku Klux Klan.”

I fear that the lack of federal oversight concerning the investigation into these Suffolk County Long Island illegal policing activities will lead to the further eruptions of violence in our community.

Very truly yours,

Henry R. Terry

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