The latest from The NYPD Tapes case files:
Terrence Battle, an executive at Hot 97 and KISS FM, was pulling up to his house in a livery cab early last Saturday morning when a sergeant and two officers from Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct stopped the taxi.
The cops were doing a routine check as part of a citywide program to keep an eye out for violence against livery cab drivers, who are often robbed by their fares.
The officers checked the cab and got a thumbs-up from the cab driver, but then, even though there was no indication of a crime, they shined flashlights in Battle’s face, ordered him out of the car, questioned him, frisked him, searched his pockets, and went through his possessions!
“It was like a polite rape,” he says. “It was totally unwarranted. There was no reason for it, and it’s just not right.”
Cops are only supposed to frisk people when they have a reasonable suspicion of a crime. That, Battle tells the Voice, didn’t exist here. He was just a guy in a cab coming home. (Battle spends his days producing promos and advertisements and interacting with artists who visit the radio stations. He also moonlights as a comedian.)
Battle filed complaints with the precinct, the Internal Affairs Division, and the Civilian Complaint Review Board. He’s considering a lawsuit.
He says the officers justified the stop-and-frisk by saying, “Do you know how many murders we have in the eight-one?”
“I replied, ‘No, but I am aware of the other things that go on in the eight-one,” Battle says, referencing the 81st Precinct secret recordings pressing arrest and ticket quotas that the Voice wrote about in the series, “The NYPD Tapes.”
The single father of two says that when he went to the precinct, a sergeant tried to dissuade him from filing the complaints. “He was reluctant to take the complaint,” Battle says. He told me it was a long process, and was kind of like, ‘Do you really want to go through with this?'”
In the end, it took nearly three hours for Battle to get his complaint filed, and then he had to insist on obtaining a contact number for IAB so he could follow up on the complaint.
“There was absolutely no just cause or reason for the officers to force me out of the back seat of the taxi, frisk, search me, and take down my information,” he says. “I did nothing to deserve that treatment. I was completely horrified and humiliated by the actions of those police officers.”