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Brooklyn cops took suspect’s phone and took goofy selfies

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Sunday, March 6, 2016, 4:00 AM

A man busted by cops for allegedly violating an order of protection says NYPD cops took goofy photos of themselves using his phone.

A man busted by cops for allegedly violating an order of protection says NYPD cops took goofy photos of themselves using his phone.

A group of dopey Brooklyn cops are in hot water — and the trouble appears selfie-inflicted.

A man who was busted for allegedly violating an order of protection says cops at the 75th Precinct stationhouse made a mockery of him by using his cell phone to take a series of goofy selfies. He says the cops also used his phone to shoot a pair of videos after the January arrest.

The man, who asked to be identified only by his initials J.L. because he fears retaliation from the cops, said he thinks they were sending him a message by messing with his phone.

“I had mixed emotions about it, but I felt like they were trying to intimidate me and make fun of me,” he told the Daily News.

The cops work in one of the city’s busiest precincts, which covers gritty East New York. While their hardworking colleagues were out in the street answering radio calls, these clown cops were mugging for the camera, flashing bogus gang signs, waving, and mindlessly saying, “Hello, How are you?” and “Everybody say hello.”

“At a minimum, it’s very unprofessional behavior,” said the man’s lawyer Andre Travieso who turned over the photos and videos to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

The 31-year-old owner of the phone identified the cops in the selfies as members of the precinct’s domestic violence unit.

“The one (bald cop) making the funny face drove me to central booking,” he recalled.

He was arrested Jan. 27 at Family Court for violating an order of protection against his ex-girlfriend with whom he has 4-year-old daughter. The woman alleged that J.L. had called her on the phone and contacted her on Facebook.

After he was booked and taken to court, J.L.’s mother went to the Sutter Ave. stationhouse to retrieve his cell phone. Two days later, he checked the photo file and found 16 selfies and two videos made by the cops.

“I don’t want anyone to get fired for it and I don’t even want an apology, but they shouldn’t have gone through my personal stuff,” said J.L., who works as a messenger.

“They should be more sensitive to how people live in this neighborhood,” he added. “It’s a struggle.”

The lawyer pointed out that the cell phone could be evidence in the order of protection case, and the cops’ intrusion into the device is illegal.

“I spoke to the district attorney on the case and she said they shouldn’t have been in the phone without his consent or a warrant,” Travieso said.

An NYPD spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. A law enforcement source briefed on the matter said the cops were confronted about the selfies and claimed they did not know it was J.L.’s phone at the time.

“They said the phone was just lying on a desk and they thought it belonged to another cop,” the source said.

J.L. has been arrested twice since Jan. 27 based on his ex-girlfriend’s allegations, but he blames those busts on the cops accepting the woman’s claims without checking the facts.

“I broke her heart and now she wants to ruin me,” he said. “I wish they wouldn’t just take her word every time. I wish they would actually look into it and they’d see it’s not true what she’s saying.”


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