The eight year NYPD veteran who was arrested and charged with civil rights violations in connection with a racially-charged stop-and-frisk arrest on Staten Island is now being held in protective custody. And the arrest Officer Michael Daragjati has provoked several elected officials into calling for a federal probe of the NYPD stop and frisk policy: "I have never been stopped and frisked. But I can no longer look mothers and grandmothers in the eye, knowing in the bottom of my heart that there is a two-tiered justice system," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Stringer was joined by State Sen. Eric Adams, City Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez in calling for the probe. Adams, a retired NYPD captain, added: "We are criminalizing thousands of young people in New York City. What is it going to take before we realize this is a citywide problem?" According to the News, 317,000 people were stopped between January 1 and June 30, an increase of almost 14 percent from last year.
Daragjati, who was called "a blatant racist" by a judge this week, says he fears for his family's safety, according to his lawyer Michael Martinez. His father Loro Daragjati expressed his support for his son after a brief court appearance yesterday: "He's my son and I love him."
Daragjati was charged Monday with falsely arresting a black man, then later allegedly using a racial slur while talking about the arrest on the phone. He was also accused of being involved in separate off-duty extortion and insurance fraud schemes—NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the department had already been investigating him when they caught him saying, "I fried another n-----," on the phone. Yesterday, another Staten Island man alleged that Daragjati ruined his life and his burgeoning baseball career by falsely arresting him six years ago.