A postal worker says police have mounted a harassment campaign against him, culminating in a brutal October 21st stomping, because he unwittingly gave directions to the deranged gunman who murdered two cops last December. As the Daily News reports, Karim Baker, 26, said officers have pulled him over 20 times since he told Ismaayil Brinsley how to get to the Marcy Houses the afternoon Brinsley gunned down officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Bedford-Stuyvesant, then killed himself on a subway platform.
Brinsley traveled to New York from the Baltimore area on December 20th after shooting an ex-girlfriend, and boasted on Instagram of his intention to "put wings on pigs" as retribution for the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. But when he flagged down Baker on a Clinton Hill sidewalk and asked for directions to the Marcy projects, Baker didn't know him from Adam, his lawyer told the News.
"He never met him before," Eric Subin said. "Never seen him before and he innocuously said, 'Can I get directions to the Marcy Houses?'"
Baker told the tabloid it took detectives a while to find him after the murder-suicide because he was having phone issues. When he did sit down with cops, he explained that there was "nothing at all" strange about Brinsley's manner. Since the interview, police have stopped him repeatedly for supposed traffic infractions, but never ticketed him. Baker says the alleged animus is misdirected.
"I have nothing in my heart against law enforcement at all," he told the News. "I have no hatred at all toward law enforcement."
A stop in Corona Queens last month escalated when, according to the New York Post, Baker objected to being questioned, and officers beat him, leaving his face scraped and bruised, and his lip split. They then arrested Baker on what he says are false charges of resisting arrest, parking near a hydrant, possessing drugs, disorderly conduct, and obstructing police work.
Baker is filing paperwork in anticipation of suing the NYPD in state court.
Police told the News an investigation into the October stop is underway, but that the department doesn't keep records on traffic stops that don't result in a ticket or arrest. A spokesman told the Post, "We dispute the allegations and have no information to corroborate these allegations."