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     Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.  Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations  Search This Site    Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.     Click here for Inner City Press front page

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact us.
2014: MRL on Beacon Reader

November 30, 2020

Bronx Deli Sued By Pastor For Lack of Overtime But Cold Feet Continue on Settlement

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 15 – Pastor Nestor Victor, a sandwich maker, sued Sam's Deli of 7 East 170th Street in The Bronx for not paying overtime.   

  On November 13 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

  Earlier, Judge Caproni had reminded the parties they cannot drop the suit without filing a settlement agreement or Department of Labor document.

 The question arose on November 13 there were really was a settlement, or cold feet. It was referred to the Magistrate Judge, Sarah L. Cave. The parties said they thought that had already happened.

On November 24 Magistrate Judge Cave held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it; to her credit, Judge Cave kept it open throughout.

 Judge Cave, noting that one of the parties was still resisting signing, said she is loathe to pressure parties to settle. But, she said, if the skittish party would be willing to speak with her, he has nothing to worry about.

   It appears there will be another call; it is unclear if it would be public, or docketed. Elsewhere in SDNY on November 24, another proceeding described as about issues with a settlement agreement that had been reached was abruptly deemed closed. There is a lack of transparency to the press and public, some perhaps understandable. We'll continue on this.

The case is Nestor Victor et al v. Sams Deli Grocery Corp. et al., 19-cv-2965 (Caproni / Cave)

November 23, 2020

Bronx Man Sued City For Boston Road Police Stop in 2015 Now SDNY Trial Moves Into 2021

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 17–  Hafeez Shaheed was driving on Boston Road in The Bronx on December 12, 2015 when he was pulled over by police.

He was ordered out of his car, was tightly handcuffed and taken into detention in the 47th Police Precinct. He was denied medical treatment. The criminal court summons filed against him was dismissed and sealed on February 10, 2016. 

  In 2017, Hafeez Saheed sued the City of New York and the police officers.

On May 5, 2020, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla in a public telephone conference which Inner City Press covered as it does others asked Hafeez Shaheed if he would be willing to settle for less than $100,000.

  Yes, he said.

 Judge Failla asked, Less than $50,000?

   Hafeez Saheed said No. 

   Melissa Wachs of the NYC Law Department, representing the City and Officers Kevin Kenny, Ou Wu and William Nakelski, said she did not have authority to go above or to $50,000.

  And so a tentative jury trial date of December 7, 2020 was set. Judge Failla genially said she has already had to postpone a June jury trial, so even December is not entirely sure.

  Now in November 2020, another conference was held in the case, and Inner City Press again covered it. Since May another conference was adjourned; the plaintiff's motion to file an amended complaint was denied. In August the trial was adjourned sine die. Now the talk is of May, June or July 2021. On November 17 it was said, see you in January.

 This case is Saheed v. City of New York, et al., 17-cv-1813 (Failla).

November 16, 2020

Fresh Produce Beef Triggers PACA Suit But SDNY Requires Correct Service of Bronx Biz

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 5 – In a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act case, Custom Pak Brokerage has sued Bronx-based JA Blurr Farms for non-payment for wholesale produce. 

 On November 5 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil held a default judgment hearing. Inner City Press covered it. 

 It emerged that counsel for Custom Pak has not propertly served the defendants.

Judge Vyskocil said she would issue an order, to be served on JA Blurr Farms and Shamar T. Hyatt of Katonah Avenue in The Bronx, to be responded to by November 1.

If not, a November 18 hearing will be canceled and default judgment entered.

The case is Custom Pak Brokerage, LLC v. JA Blurr Farms, LLC et al., 20-cv-3926 (Vyskocil)

November 9, 2020

Bronx School Sued By Phys Ed Teacher For Discrimination As 10 Other Victims Named

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 4 – Steven Bernstein was a physical education teach at Middle School 390 in The Bronx until November 26, 2018, when he was constructively terminated. He says it was due to his age, and he sued. 

On November 4 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis J. Liman held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

   Bernstein blames principal Robert Mercedes, who he says pushed out several white and black older teachers like 64 year old Linda White, George Swander, Myrna Kinkle, Meaghan Canavan, Susan Carr-Lagomarsini, Eileen Kojes, Darryl McKnight, Juanita Murray, Harriet Harewood, and Claire Scenney-Lundahl, all named in the complaint. 

 The parties propose to complete discovery by December 21, 2020, requesting a post-discovery state conference on that day.

The case is Bernstein v. New York City Department Of Education, et al., 19-cv-11816 (Liman)

November 2, 2020

In SDNY Capital Case Berry and Lopez Await Main Justice Decision on 2000 Bronx Murder

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 27 -- Near 751 East 161st Street in the South Bronx on June 21, 2000, Caprice Jones was shot and killed.  

  On January 30, 2020 - twenty years later - a sealed indictment was signed by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge James L. Cott, for the arrest of Frank Lopez and Ralph Berry on capital murder charges for the death of Caprice Jones, in connection with both men's alleged crack sales.  

 On February 7 in Texas, Frank Lopez was arrested. And four full weeks later on March 4, Frank Lopez was presented and arraigned in SDNY Magistrates Court, with Inner City Press the only media present.  

  Lopez was brought in by U.S. Marshals; his assigned counsel said he has high blood pressure and acid reflux. He also displayed heavy tattoos.  

 Assistant US Attorney Domenic Gentile said the government sought detention, in which Lopez' assigned counsel consented without prejudice.

  Now on October 27, Judge Alison J. Nathan held a proceeding with Lopez and his co-defendant Ralph Berry on the line. Judge Nathan told AUSA Gentile to get Main Justice's capital decision within 30 days.

  He replied that they would not give a date, but were confident it would be in a month. Judge Nathan relied on that confidence, and set the next conference for December 9 at 11 am.
 Inner City Press will continue to follow this and other capital cases. The case is US v. Lopez, 20-cr-84 (Nathan). 

October 26, 2020

In SDNY Murder For Hire Jury Trial 1st Since COVID Ends In Guilty Verdicts Feb 10 Sentence

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 23 – While many even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are sealed, on June 13, 2019 then-US Attorney Geoffrey L. Berman announced the arrest and presentment of two middle aged men for murder for hire, and said they had already been presented in the Magistrates Court.

But even an hour later, the case file or docket for 19-cr-395 said "This case is under seal." Inner City Press asked, as to this and other murky Mag Court cases, Why? Then on July 26 Ramon Ramirez was denied bail by District Judge P. Kevin Castel, pending trial.

  On October 15, 2020 as the first criminal jury trial in the SDNY after months of COVID-19 modifications and CourtCalls, the trial began. Inner City Press live tweeted Day 1 here and below.

 On October 19, day 3, there was more testimony from killers and a final stipulation about Santeria, religion from Nigeria to Cuba, after evidence of gun without pin found in defendant's home. Inner City Press went out to the courtroom, which while hardly full had the Press behind the jury box fence as defense lawyers questioned form plexiglass box and AUSA Balsamello sat in the bench in the back.

  It ended in verdicts of guilty, guilty, guilty. Judge Castel set the sentencings for February 10.

 Watch this site.

On Day 2, October 16, here:

Defense lawyer Kluger: So you were committing a crime wave in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, correct?

CW1: Please rephrase the question.

Defense lawyer Kluger; I'll withdraw it. Count 9 was drug sale, 280 grams of crack? CW1: That's what it says.

Now co-defendant Vance Collins' lawyer Eric Breslin, of Duane Morris: Where did you meet my client?

CW1: In the Bronx. Breslin: Did he introduce you to Santeria? CW1: Yes.

 Breslin: Do you smoke pot in Orange County Jail? CW1: Yes. But I never got caught.

 Breslin: And you mixed crack and marijuana in a cigar? CW1: In a blunt. Breslin: Tell the jury what a blunt is. CW1: A cigar.

Breslin: So you've been selling drugs for 20 years? CW1: Yes. 

Breslin: Did you cooperate with the Bronx DA?

CW1: Yes. But this is my first time with the Feds. I don't know how it works. I need that 5K letter.

 Breslin: How long has it been since you saw your mother?

CW1: Two years. Breslin: Does you wife come to prison?

CW1 (voice rising) NOBODY COMES TO VISIT ME IN PRISON.

Breslin: No further questions.

 Then testimony turned dry, to cell site records in The Bronx (Barnes Avenue and Boston Road), Queens and Yonkers. The trial will continue and probably wrap up next week.

From Day 1, October 15:

The US Attorney's Office's witness is rattling off the crimes he's been in jail for since October 29, 2018 - drugs in the Bronx, firearms.