A cop admitted to falsely arresting a man and using racist language to describe the injustice, and now, that victim -- known in court records only as John Doe #2 -- spoke exclusively to PIX11 News. The punishment he feels should be meted out to the rogue officer may be as surprising to some as the abuse John Doe #2 was subjected to for no reason.
"He threw me up against a van and smashed my head into the hood of a car," the heavyset, average height man told PIX11 News about what Officer Michael Daragjati did to him after he asked to see the plainclothes cop's badge number following a stop-and-frisk last April 15th. "That's not a cop, that's not a servant of the people," John Doe #2 said. "That's an angry man."
The encounter took place on the street near the victim's home in the Stapleton section of Staten Island last April. When it was over, Daragjati had fabricated a resisting arrest charge against the man he'd abused, which resulted in that man, John Doe #2, having to spend 36 hours in jail.
As luck would have it for John Doe #2, Daragjati was being investigated by the NYPD at the time for having an inappropriate relationship with a drug dealer, and, as part of that investigation, Daragjati was recorded talking on the phone talking about what he'd done to the Staten Island man he was supposed to be protecting.
"He talked to his girlfriend and said he fried another n-----," John Doe #2 told PIX11 News, using a racist epithet. Those words were said by Officer Daragjati, and he admitted to it in federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday, as he pleaded guilty to the false arrest and to extortion in a separate incident that's also part of the case against him.
Ironically, the racist comment was read into the public record in the courtroom by the presiding judge, William Kuntz, an African-American, appointed to the bench by the first African-American president, Barack Obama. Judge Kuntz will ultimately determine the cop's sentence. The combination of the extortion and false arrest pleas could net Daragjati anywhere from probation to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $600,000.
"He's not a racist," Daragjati's attorney, Ronald Fischetti said outside of court. "He's really a good man who did some bad things, stupid things. That's not the sum of any one person. He has agreed he did those things, he wants to get it behind him now."
"Jay-Z has a song that's Number 7 on the Billboard charts," Daragjati's brother, who would not give his first name, told PIX11 News, referring to the hit recording by Jay-Z and Kanye West, "N****s In Paris," which actually is ranked seventh on the Billboard Hot 100 list of hit songs.
"It's a term of slang that's acceptable nowadays," the brother said. "[My brother is] a cop that's on the streets all day. It's just a word of slang that he's very, very remorseful for saying.
Officer Daragjati's victim is not so convinced. "He is clearly a racist," John Doe #2 said, noting that the officer used racist epithets numerous times in referring to people of color while he was being recorded by the NYPD as part of its internal investigation.
Despite feeling that way toward his admitted tormentor, some might find John Doe #2's thoughts about the punishment Daragjati should receive surprising. "Jail is not no place for a man," the man whom Daragjati had sent behind bars told PIX11 News. "Jail is cages and cages are meant for animals, and he's still a man, first and foremost."
As for what punishment would fit Daragjati's crime, John Doe #2 said, "I don't believe he should be a cop, because cops are supposed to protect and serve us, protect the people."
Daragjati, 32, will resign his position with the NYPD after having served for about three years and ten months, but that resignation will not be submitted until Daragjati's sentencing. Judge Kuntz did not set a sentencing date, but most federal sentencings occur approximately three months after a plea is entered.
Even though Daragjati's racist comments have garnered the most attention in his case, it's the other aspect of his plea that is more likely to keep the plainclothes officer behind bars. He is currently in federal custody pending sentencing. In addition to the false arrest, Daragjati is charged with extorting a Staten Island man the officer had suspected of stealing snow removal equipment from him. Daragjati admits to being part of a group of people who beat up, intimidated, and threatened the man referred to in court records as John Doe #1.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times