Yosef Bergovoy, one of three bochurim who were stopped by police and given criminal court summonses for what he says is the NYPD’s obsession with ticket and arrest quotas, is taking action.
It was 10 p.m. on Sunday, October 24 when Bergovoy was standing on Carroll St. near Kingston Avenue, talking to his friends.
Four NYPD officers asked for their ID, and proceeded to give them each a summons for “blocking pedestrian traffic”, even though a photograph shows a virtually empty sidewalk.
The three have contacted Norman Siegel, a civil rights lawyer, who is looking into bringing a lawsuit against the police for their actions, and they are seeking other similar victims who may have received unfair summonses from the Police in the Crown Heights area.
“We have decided to take steps to prevent further similar situations from occurring,” Bergovoy told COLlive. “Citizens should never be, or should ever fear to be, harassed or to have to spend their time and money on disputing frivolous or fictitious tickets. It is time to stand up for ourselves.”
“Government and public servants, such as the police, are here to serve us and protect us, not prey on us. Unfortunately, they sometimes forget that there are limits to their privileges, specifically unwarranted searches, detainment and tickets. As I am now learning, this forgetfulness often occurs when quotas need to be met and when budgets are tight.”
So why not get the charges dismissed and let it fade away?
“It is our responsibility to do what’s right for our community, city and country even when inconvenient,” Bergovoy says. “Enough people in this city have given up enough freedom – now it is time to take a stand and tell the NYPD: enough! Focus on fighting crime and stop preying on innocent citizens.”
Bergovoy says they have set up an email address to compile as many stories and incidents as they can. They are looking for incidents that are relevant and happened in this past year. Every incident will remain confidential until the attorney can discuss the incident with you. With enough documented incidents, he says, they will be able to force some level of accountability from NYPD brass and make a credible complaint.
The group will be holding a meeting this Thursday, December 9th with the lawyer. Please e-mail them at [email protected] if you feel you have been targeted and have received a false charge or arrest. Please be sure to include the details of the incident, your name and number. Please notify your family and friends to e-mail us if they have a case as well. E-mails will be replied to with the details of the meeting, where it will be held, and what time it will take place.
EVERY SUBMISSION WILL STAY CONFIDENTIAL. If need be, we can give you a document assuring your of confidentiality from the attorney who is assisting us.