Three NYPD Officers, Including “Unabashedly Racist” Cop, Arrested In Bribery Scheme: Feds

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Three NYPD officers have been arrested Tuesday on federal corruption fees, together with an “unabashedly racist” cop who bragged about menacing Black individuals and expressed curiosity within the Ku Klux Klan, in response to prosecutors.

The indictment particulars a collection of escalating legal habits by Robert Smith, a longtime officer in japanese Queens who left the division final March. Starting in 2016, the submitting states, Smith, 44, and his accomplice Robert Hassett, 36, used their police powers to steer automobiles broken in crashes to a selected towing firm, in alternate for hundreds of {dollars} in money bribes.

The scheme expanded in early 2020, prosecutors allege, with the officers gathering crash victims’ info from the NYPD’s accident database, giving it to an unnamed particular person who bought it to bodily therapists and harm attorneys.

Shortly earlier than Smith retired, he recruited Officer Heather Busch, a present officer within the one hundred and fifth precinct, to take over the towing scheme, prosecutors stated. Busch, 34, is accused of accepting bribes for that work starting final March, simply weeks after she was praised by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea for her efforts locally.

Because the corruption within the one hundred and fifth continued, Smith was providing his companies to a gaggle of males he believed to be drug sellers, in response to feds.

In a single assembly with the undercover officers, Smith allegedly “bragged that he might carry a firearm and retired NYPD identification paperwork throughout his transportation of unlawful narcotics.” He was given a kilogram of what he believed to be heroin, which he dropped off at a Queens residence, in response to prosecutors.

All through the course of the investigation, prosecutors stated, Smith additionally bragged about wielding energy over Black people, whereas making glowing references to the KKK.

“Bro I level my gun out the window now at n—ers and watch their response and drive away. Hilarious,” he allegedly wrote in a single textual content message. In one other message, shortly after his retirement, he allegedly boasted, “Now the true [S]mith will shine. I even shaved my head. Klan.”

Metropolis information present that Smith was the topic of 14 misconduct complaints as an NYPD officer, together with one grievance that was substantiated for utilizing offensive language towards a Black lady. He obtained formalized coaching because of that cost.

Prosecutors are looking for pre-trial detention for Smith, describing his alleged abuse of energy and repeated threats to terrorize people as a “clear hazard” to the neighborhood.They’re additionally asking for bond on Busch and Hassett. Gothamist’s try to achieve an lawyer for the defendants was unsuccessful.

They’re anticipated to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.



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