The two NYPD officers responsible for last Saturday's fatal shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray have previously been named in a combined five federal lawsuits, the New York Daily News reports. Sergeant Mourad Mourad and Jovaniel Cordova, who say they shot the teenager because he pointed a .38 revolver at them, have been put on desk duty while the NYPD and Brooklyn district attorney's office continue to investigate the East Flatbush incident. While a city Law Department spokeswoman pointed out that "being named in a lawsuit is not an indication of wrongdoing, and neither is settlement," revelations about the cops' legal pasts will do little to quiet those calling for more answers about Gray's death, which sparked days of protests and police clashes in the area.
During his time as an officer on Staten Island, Mourad was included in three lawsuits brought by citizens alleging civil rights violations. In one case, a plaintiff claimed that he had been the victim of an illegal stop-and-frisk by Mourad and other policemen. In another case, two men alleged that they had been "falsely arrested" by Mourad and others; a third said that Mourad and his team "pulled his pants and underwear" during his arrest. Meanwhile, Cordova was once accused of making an "illegal stop" inside a Manhattan building, where he punched a plaintiff in the face. Another sued for emotional distress after Cordova placed him facedown in a puddle while arresting him.
Lawyer Brett Klein, who filed four out of the five suits, told the Daily News that his clients' experiences with the two officers "expose a disturbing pattern of unconstitutional and aggressive stop-and-frisk practices." He also claimed that Mourad and Cordova both "attempted to cover up their misconduct by falsifying and fabricating evidence." The city settled all of the suits for amounts ranging from $20,000 to $92,500 (resulting in a total of $215,000), though no one ever admitted to any wrongdoing.