In the case of Michael Mineo v. the NYPD, where Mineo has accused NYPD officers of sodomizing him as he resisted arrest in a subway station, the pair of boxer shorts Mineo was wearing that night is a key piece of evidence. The boxers have a hole from where officers allegedly sodomized Mineo with a baton, but now the boxers have gone missing. Mineo's lawyer, Steven Jackson, said, "We're nonplussed as to what happened. I've never been involved in a case where evidence disappeared."
This isn't the first time the boxers may have been messed with. A "fabric expert" testified that the hole could not have been made by a baton because it is square-shaped, but that it looked as if it had been cut out of the underwear. But Mineo's attorneys argued that police altered the hole before the boxers were brought to court.
The underwear had reportedly been stored in a sealed bag in a sealed box in the courthouse vault. The box, which also contained officer Richard Kern's baton, was brought into the courtroom on Tuesday, where Jackson removed the baton for trial purposes. He said he did not notice if the boxers were missing. A member of the Internal Affairs Bureau then took the items and returned them by Wednesday morning. No one is sure whether the boxers were in the box on Tuesday or if they went missing earlier, but Federal Judge Jack Weinstein said, "In the future, nothing is to be removed from this courthouse without the court's order." Kern and two other cops were acquitted of criminal charges in February, but Kern is being sued in a civil retrial for using excessive force against Mineo.