“The power to arrest — to deprive a citizen of liberty — must be used fairly, responsibly and without bias.” Such was part of a statement given by Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. The public announcement followed the arrest of Officer Michael Daragjati, 32, of the New York Police Department, charged with a civil rights violation.
The complaint alleges that Officer Daragjati, an 8-year veteran with the force, falsely arrested a black man and was then found bragging about the incident during a telephone conversation. Daragjati stopped and frisked the man in the Stapleton area of Staten Island this past spring. The man was searched and revealed no possession of any contraband or weapons however, when he complained about his treatment by the officer and requested Daragjati’s badge number, he was arrested and charged with resisting arrest. Daragjati noted in his police report that the arrested had flailed his arms and kicked his legs, exhibiting disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, thus enabling him to detain the man for a period of roughly 36 hours.
To Daragjati’s dismay, authorities intercepted a phone conversation he had with a female friend the day after the arrest during which, the officer referred to the man using racial slurs and acted proud of his arrest. At least 12 more phone conversations were intercepted where Daragjati was heard speaking derogatorily about African-Americans.
In unrelated matters, Daragjati has also found himself charged with both attempted extortion and insurance charges. The case at hand carries a maximum sentence of one year and fine of up to $100,000. However, the man once donning blue may soon be trading in his uniform for one less admired, as the other pending charges carry much longer sentences of up to 20 years and $500,000 in charges.