Hundreds of Criminal Convictions at Risk Because of Crooked Cops

( – At a time when the honesty and credibility of law enforcement officers are increasingly under attack by politicians, comes word that hundreds of criminal convictions may soon be reversed because of crooked New York City police officers.

According to the Brooklyn, New York District Attorney’s Office:

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that his Conviction Review Unit will be asking the Court to vacate and dismiss 47 felony convictions and 331 misdemeanor convictions that were directly based on the work of 13 former New York City Police Department officers who were later found guilty of crimes that were committed while on duty. A review by Brooklyn’s CRU did not uncover misconduct, but the District Attorney has lost confidence in cases where these officers served as essential witness, i.e., cases that could not have been prosecuted without them. This is the sixth largest mass dismissal of convictions in U.S. history, according to data collected by the National Registry of Exonerations.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These former police officers were found to have committed serious misconduct that directly relates to their official job duties, calling into question the integrity of every arrest they have made. A thorough review by my Conviction Review Unit identified those cases in which their testimony was essential to proving guilt, and I will now move to dismiss those convictions as I no longer have confidence in the integrity of the evidence that underpinned them. Credibility and honesty are at the heart of the justice system, and we cannot improve community trust without adhering to the highest ethical standards.”

According to the DA’s office, these are the officers in question, the crimes the officers committed, and the number of cases that will have to be dismissed.

  • Jason Arbeeny (14) – convicted of official misconduct and related charges for planting drugs in 2007 while assigned to the Brooklyn South Narcotics Division.
  • Michael Arenella (3) – convicted of petit larceny for taking money from an undercover in 2007 while assigned to Brooklyn South Narcotics Division.
  • Michael Bergmann (1) – pleaded guilty to perjury in connection with a 2019 incident in which he testified falsely in the grand jury that a suspect almost ran him and his partner over with a car; video obtained by the Brooklyn DA’s Office showed this didn’t happen.
  • Jerry Bowens (134) – pleaded guilty to murder and falsifying business records. While assigned to Brooklyn South Narcotics Division in 2008, he supplied drugs to an informant in exchange for information. While his criminal case was pending, in 2009, he shot and killed his ex-girlfriend.
  • Richard Danese (4) – pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in Staten Island in connection with a Halloween 2007 incident in which he and his partner unlawfully imprisoned a 14-year-old boy suspected of misconduct and abandoned him in a marsh.
  • Sasha Diaz (15) – pleaded guilty to perjury in Manhattan for falsely testifying to a grand jury about observing a firearm in 2014; also convicted in Queens of offering a false instrument for filing, in which she lied about observing a drug deal.
  • Michael Foder (27) – pleaded guilty to federal perjury charges in the Eastern District of New York for testifying falsely at a 2018 hearing about when and how he conducted photo arrays of two robbery suspects in Brooklyn.
  • Richard Hall (18) – pleaded guilty to bribe receiving and official misconduct for releasing a woman from custody in exchange for sexual favors from her in 2017.
  • Sean Johnstone (40) – convicted of conspiracy for paying off informants with drugs in 2007, while assigned to the Brooklyn South Narcotics Division as an undercover.
  • Admir Kacamakovic (14) – pleaded guilty in federal court for civil rights violations for assaulting a bar patron with pepper spray and unlawfully detaining him while in uniform in 2008.
  • Eddie Martins (60) – pleaded guilty to bribe receiving and official misconduct for releasing a woman from custody in exchange for sexual favors from her in 2017.
  • Oscar Sandino (43) – pleaded guilty to deprivation of civil rights for forcing a woman he arrested to perform oral sex in a Queens stationhouse bathroom in 2008; also pleaded guilty to assaulting an off-duty court officer who was in custody.
  • Henry Tavarez (5) – pleaded guilty to offering a false instrument for filing for making false statements regarding a buy-and-bust operation in 2009 while assigned to Queens South Narcotics Division as an undercover.

In your opinion, are most police officers good and honest law enforcement professionals? Have you ever had an interaction with a police officer that made you think the officer was dishonest? Please share your thoughts by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.