Months ago, the charges made by Michael Mineo [photo] seemed farfetched, but he soon gained credence with the Rev. Al Sharpton and others in the local activist community.
The action by the District Attorney, expected to come as an indictment on Tuesday, is a big deal. (read Channel 12 breaking report.)
Regarding a suspicion that police officers routinely get away with lying, I here relate an incident from the end of last December, when I was stopped by a cop (in the same 71 precinct and just a block and a half from the Prospect Park station) who asked why I had just crossed "clearly marked yellow double lines" as I turned my car from Flatbush Ave. onto Maple St.
I told the officer and his partner that I did not see or know that there ever were double yellow lines there. I got a ticket. Not only that, freaked out by my attitude and unerring syntax in speaking, the cop and his partner actually followed me home, driving off as they saw me turning into the driveway of my home that was indicated on the driver's license.
Fast Forward. I took pictures showing that there were no yellow lines. I got the state senator (Eric Adams, whose office is on the block) to sign a letter saying there were no yellow lines; and the Community Board manager to sign one as well.
Come time for the traffic court date, the officer stands up and boldly states the alleged infraction and describes the "clear yellow lines." He was stunned and hung his head low as I presented page after page of evidence, leading the judge to find me not guilty.
But what would have happened to a citizen without a camera or unable to easily contact officials who would back him up? And how often are police just making up charges, just to have an extra ticket on the books or to harrass someone?
See here video of Mineo in the hospital making his allegation some months ago.