Policing Their Own

What the NYPD Did Not Reveal About Former Chief Louis Anemone

"At, at this point, I don't."

Sergeant McInnis says Jeff Christopher was fired from the force in December 1996 for his involvement in a domestic incident. Efforts to contact Christopher proved futile, but a police officer close to Christopher denies that Christopher used or sold drugs.

Anemone said that he was not aware that Internal Affairs and another NYPD agency had conducted investigations into the missing money. He couldn't recall anyone being approached by investigators. "I don't think so," he said.

"Were you the precinct commanding officer at that time?" Kelleher pressed.

"In 1988, yes," Anemone replied. It was one of the few times during the interview that Kelleher seemed to get a straight answer out of Anemone.

"Specifically, in this case, did you, an officer, take or remove money from an aided male without having authority or justification to do so?"

"No," Anemone insisted.

"Follow-up to that, did you ever take, in this instance, or in any other instance . . . U.S. currency unlawfully, at any time, while assigned to the 3-2 Precinct?"

"No," Anemone reiterated.

"Did you then or do you now have any information or knowledge relative to members of the service in the 3-2 Precinct that are involved in corruption or misconduct, that had to do with numbers and policy?"

"No." The interview ended abruptly. Anemone could not be reached for comment.

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Louis Anemone "retired" with a full pension and a pat on the back from his friend in Internal Affairs. William Acosta isn't so lucky. He is broke and often portrayed by critics within the NYPD as a Serpico-type pariah because of his whistleblower activities. Acosta's allegations against Anemone, however, are representative of the kinds of claims that likely would be aired if a wrongful-dismissal lawsuit brought against the department by the crusading cop goes to trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

In his suit, which seeks unspecified damages, Acosta alleges that before he was fired—from March 1996 through April 9, 1996—he was suspended from the department for exposing corrupt officers. Acosta, who now runs the Equalizer private investigative agency in Manhattan, claims he was harassed by other officers when he was assigned to the 32nd Precinct, after he had worked as an undercover officer for Internal Affairs. Normally, the lawsuit notes, Internal Affairs undercovers are not transferred to uniform patrol because they may face cops and other individuals they have previously investigated. As a result, Acosta alleges, he received death threats and was routinely harassed, threatened, and intimidated.

Acosta is unflinching. Whenever the opportunity arises, he confronts current and former NYPD commanders about police corruption and their alleged failure to stop it. Toward the end of a televised town hall meeting last week in Manhattan to discuss police brutality, Acosta cornered former police commissioner William Bratton, charging that despite Bratton's knowledge of allegations of misconduct against Anemone, Internal Affairs never launched a serious investigation. In the waning seconds of the town hall meeting, Bratton was not given the time to respond.

Additional reporting: Danielle Douglas

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