Remember Michael Mineo, the tattoo artist who said two Brooklyn cops sodomized him with a baton during a pot bust earlier this year? The cops were acquitted of criminal charges in February, but Mineo is back in Brooklyn Federal Court with a civil suit. Although his underwear — the plaid boxer shorts torn where the police allegedly sodomized him — isn’t.
The Daily News says the underwear, along with the baton that police allegedly used in the attack, was stored in a sealed evidence bag in a sealed box in a sealed vault within the courthouse. The box was in the courtroom on Tuesday, when Mineo’s lawyer removed the baton “for trial purposes, but did not take note of the undies.”
A city lawyer says an Internal Affairs officer then “took custody of the items and returned them Wednesday morning.” Mineo’s lawyers have previously accused IAB of tampering with the boxers, and the judge in the civil case supposedly reprimanded the officer for removing the box without permission. Via the News: “Who authorized you to remove it from the courthouse?” Weinstein thundered. “In the future, nothing is to be removed from this courthouse without the court’s order.”
Only one of the three cops involved, officer Richard Kern, is named in the civil suit. Mineo is suing him for excessive force, although he too was acquitted during the first trial, where a “textile expert” testified that the square hole in Mineo’s boxers could not have been made by Kern’s baton.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2010