Images via Cityroom

Lawyers for the man who accused NYPD officers of sodomizing him as he resisted arrest in a Brooklyn subway station have filed papers in federal court alleging that police investigators tampered with a crucial piece of evidence: their client's boxer shorts. One of the pivotal moments in the criminal trial—which resulted in the acquittal of all three cops—came when an NYPD fiber expert testified that the officer's police baton, or ASP, "could not have possibly made the hole in this underwear. This is a square hole."

The fiber expert also testified that the hole had been "cut out" or "punched," because it's a clean hole with no flap of material left. Lawyers for the three officers successfully argued that Mineo, a body piercer, used one of his own tools to make the hole after the fact. But yesterday attorneys for the alleged victim, Michael Mineo, asserted that the NYPD altered the shape of a tear in the boxers from one with an L-shaped flap to one with a square hole.

Mineo's $440 million civil trial against the NYPD and the officers is set to begin in two weeks, and his lawyers say that these photographs were not seen during the criminal trial, asserting they "show proof positive that the underwear did not have a square hole when initially photographed, but had a perforation with an ‘L’ shaped flap, and that there was no missing material." They had planned a press conference yesterday afternoon to expose the boxers, but canceled after being summoned to court by the judge in the civil case, Jack B. Weinstein.

Lawyers for the NYPD had sought a gag order to suppress the boxers, and police union lawyer Mitchell Garber told the Daily News that Mineo's lawyers were trying to influence the jury pool. Judge Weinstein declined to stop Mineo’s lawyers from discussing the evidence, but he did ask them to refrain from airing the dirty undies publicly, saying "I know this is a high-profile case, but I don't want this to be an incendiary case." Certainly not—it's just your ordinary, garden variety lawsuit accusing cops of sodomy.