Review of LAS Caseload Shows That These Officers Overwhelmingly Target New Yorkers of Color on Staten Island for Arrest
PHOTO: NY TIMES
Christopher Pisciotta, Attorney-In-Charge of the Staten Island Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society, called on the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office today in a letter to investigate New York City Police (NYPD) Officer Kyle Erickson and Officer Elmer Pastran for possible misconduct. This request comes after recent reporting in the New York Times showing these officers planting a marijuana cigarette in an innocent man’s car after a routine traffic stop.
Legal Aid also reviewed current and prior cases involving these two officers which revealed an undeniable pattern of racial profiling. From 2017 to date, Officers Erickson and Pastran stopped an extraordinarily high percentage of people of color in relation to the Staten Island community they serve. In a diverse community where less than half of the population is black or Latino, the officers arrested people of color over 80 percent of the time.
The letter states:
I ask that you act now to protect our community and bring accountability and justice. First, investigate and prosecute the officers involved with criminal charges supported by facts and law. The officers committed crimes based on information already in RCDA possession and appropriate charges need to be brought before our courts. Second, review all prior convictions secured involving the two officers in light of their criminal acts to safeguard justice and integrity of our justice system and to protect lives impacted by such convictions.
Finally, in any pending matters involving the officers, provide the appropriate disclosures to the defense counsel as required by US and NY State constitutions, Rules of Professional Conduct and the Chief Administrative Judge Order regarding discovery. Only by your Office taking action will our community see accountability and justice in our courts.