A U.S. Postal Service worker who unknowingly gave Ismaaiyl Brinsley directions to the Brooklyn housing project where he shot and killed Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu earlier this year claims he has been the target of violent harassment by the NYPD, the New York Daily News reports.
On the afternoon of December 20th, Brinsley stopped Karim Baker at Willoughby Avenue and Taaffe Place to ask him for directions to the Marcy Houses. “He never met him before,” Baker’s lawyer, Eric Subin, told the Daily News. “Never seen him before and he innocuously said, ‘Can I get directions to the Marcy Houses?’”
Police tracked Baker, 26, down some time later as part of the investigation into the shooting, and Baker said he told them that there was “nothing at all” unusual about Brinsley: “Just a guy asking for directions.”
Baker said he subsequently has been stopped 20 times without being ticketed. (The NYPD does not document stops that do not result in an arrest or summons.)
“Twenty times in a year is a lot of times to be pulled over and never issued a summons,” Subin said. “This is our strongly held theory. It’s too much of a bizarre coincidence not to hold water.”
“My impression is they were keeping tabs on him, watching where he was going.”
This alleged harassment campaign culminated in Baker’s arrest on October 21st, in which he was charged with resisting arrest, criminal possession of a controlled substance, obstructing cops and parking within 15 feet of a hydrant.
Baker told the Daily News that gang cops in an unmarked car were shouting him as he walked to his car, where it had been parked all day 20 feet from a hydrant, shining a flashlight in his face and demanding to see his ID. Baker said he attempted to call 911 when the cops pulled him from his car.
“I was being kicked, choked, punched, on the floor, stomped on,” Baker said. “I had a foot on my neck and a foot on my head. Someone stomped my head on the concrete.”
“They threw him down on his head,” his lawyer said. “The two of them start beating the hell out of him, a particularly savage beating. They all joined in the beating. They beat him until they seemed to be satisfied with what they had done to him.”