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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

January 18, 2021

After Bronx Playground Shooting Joseph Faces Superseding Indictment As Felon in Possession

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 7 – Nicholas Joseph is charged as part of Bronx drug conspiracy that had a shoot-out in a playground in Castle Hill in which a 12-year old was injured.  

    On January 4 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

  Joseph wanted to be released on $250,000 bond, to his mother's house in Pennsylvania. Judge Castel declined, but set a next conference for March 3.

Now on January 7, AUSA Andrew Chan has written to Judge Castel that "earlier today a grand jury returned a superseding indictment which includes a second count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition." They want Joseph to be arraigned on this new charge on March 3, saying that "defense counsel previously voiced no objection to the exclusion of time [under the Speedy Trial Act] until March 3."

The case is US v. Joseph, 20-cr-603 (Castel)

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January 11, 2021

Seen in The Bronx: while other restaurants and cafes understandable close amid the ban on indoor dining and the cold outside, the Luna Cafe on 187th Street has set up little fireplaces outside..

Bronxite Hit By UN Mission of Grenada Car Has Case Removed Now Sent to Mediation

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 6 – Bronx resident Virgilio Guerrero was hit and injured by a vehicle owned by Grenada's Mission to the United Nations in 2018, on 42nd Street.

  He sued in state court, but the UN Mission of Grenada removed it to Federal court.

 On January 6, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York e Judge John G. Koeltl held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.   

Guerrero, it turns out, has had to have surgury. The Grenada UN Mission's venicle was being driving by Tyrone Samuel.

 But as Inner City Press has reported with regard to the UN Mission of Nigeria delaying a similar case in the SDNY, diplomatic immunity or impunity is a mind-set pervasive in and around the UN on 42nd Street.  

This case is being referred to mediation, which is not public.

The case is Guerrero v. Samuel et al., 19-cv-6716 (Koeltl)

January 4, 2021

As NYC de Blasio Talks Quarantine UNSG Guterres Vacations in Lisbon New Year in Bronx

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

SDNY / BRONX, Dec 29 – As 2020 comes to a close in New York City, its mayor Bill de Blasio on December 29 held a press conference urging that anyone traveling back into the city test and quarantine for COVID-19.

   But what of the UN diplomats and bureaucrats whom the city hosts, notably UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who left his public-funded mansion on Sutton Place to vacation in Portugal, and said he may also visit the United Kingdom? 

 Inner City Press sought to ask the question at de Blasio's press conference, video here, but did not get the question in via WebEx as PIX 11, the Daily News and a self-described atheist from WBAI were called on. (De Blasio said, "Whatever works for you, God bless.")

  So Inner City Press submitted the question through the WebEx platform chat to panelist Doctor Dave A. Chokshi the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. We'll see. 

 In even more local NYC news, Inner City Press on December 28 covered the online Town Hall meeting at which Bronx Assembly-member Michael A. Blake passed the baton to his successor, Chantel Jackson who spoke of her Belize-born mother working for a union, and her desire to carry the voice of Bronxite to Albany. Again, we'll see.

The long-abandoned courthouse on Third Avenue by the 42nd Precinct was discussed, as well as how and whether truly small businesses can access future Paycheck Protection Program loans, as issue Inner City Press covers along with the Fair Finance Watch. Watch this site.

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December 28, 2020

As Career Offender Gets 6 Years For 6 Grams of Crack in Bronx' Claremont Powder Questions

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 22 – Leonardo Fernandez is classified as a career criminal. In four months in 2018 and 2019, in the Claremont neighborhood of The Bronx, he sold six grams of crack to undercover officers.

   On December 22, 2020 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held his sentencing. Inner City Press covered it.   

Assistant US Attorney Andrew Chan said that Fernandez had set up his own open air drug market in Claremont. 

 Judge Koeltl asked how much crack was at issue.  Six grams was the answer. 

 And what would be the offense level if it were powder cocaine, versus crack? The difference was 12 for powder, 16 for crack.  

The guideline sentence started at 151 months. Judge Koeltl sentence Fernandex to 72 months or six years.

The case is US v. Fernandez, 19-cr-267 (Koeltl)

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Feedback: Editorial [at] innercitypress.com

December 21, 2020

Rice Versus AOC For Energy In DC As Politics of Place But Not Bank Reregulation Are Zoomed

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

NEW YORK, SDNY & EDNY, Dec 17 – The difference between retail and wholesale politics was on display Thursday night, on calls on Zoom and video, DC, The Bronx and Queens. 

   Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez held a Zoom town hall from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, at which she took constituent and three media questions, focused on the stimulus negotiations but the Paycheck Protection Program or bank re-regulation aspects of it.  

   But as DC based sources report, there was a video call to vote on contested seats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Democratic leadership set up a vote between Ocasio-Cortez and Long Island former prosecutor Kathleen Rice, which as set up the latter won, 46-13.

     Surprisingly, this showdown did not come up in the questions selected in the questions picked on Thursday night, except perhaps indirectly.

A constituent in the Bronx' Parkchester housing development asked about how the Green New Deal deals with such issues as pollution from trucks on the nearby Cross Bronx Expressway.  

Ocasio-Cortez replied among other things that corporations are given tax breaks to come into the Bronx and then pollute it; she spoke about health problems caused by older housing stock like Parkchester.

  She also said that earmarks are in the past, and that Federal Congresspeople have to work on nationwide issues. 

   As an example, a constituent from Astoria, Queens was given an update on negotiations on PPP and other stimulus (but again, not the bank regulatory aspect of PPP).

    In full disclosure, Inner City Press which is headquartered in Ocasio-Cortez' district had asked in writing, and in advance, about PPP and the Community Reinvestment Act, specifically anti-CRA Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks. We hope to have more on this. Watch this site.


Bid To Stop Election to Replace Disgraced Bronx Pol Andy King Fails Amid Typos

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 18 – With a legal filing full of misspellings asking to enjoin an election or its results, a dozen constituents of ousted New York City Council member Andy King on Friday asked a Federal judge for a restraining order. It was denied. 

  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni, in a proceeding covered by Inner City Press, asked how the plaintiffs had standing. (King's own lawsuit against the City Council for ousting him 48-2 for misconduct had already failed). 

  The plaintiffs' Queens-based lawyer said these voters had a right to pick their representative. He said he has already put 40 hours into the case. 

  The complaint, which referred to Andy Young before the last name was stricken to King, asked for the "stooing" of the election to replace King.

  Judge Caproni declined to issue a preliminary injunction, and gave the City defendants until February 5 to answer or move to dismiss the complaint.

The case is Marchant et al v. De Blasio et al., 20-cv-10544 (Caproni)

December 14, 2020

Dollar Tree Is Sued For Bronx Negligence Now Wants Protective Order In SDNY

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 8 – Dawn Rivera was injured in a Dollar Tree store in The Bronx in November 2016.      

 On December 8 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

  Dollar Tree was proposing that any disclosure of information it put under its "protective order" should result in a finding of contempt.

Judge Fox nixed that, saying that it was the word sanctions that should be used.

He specified other problems with the proposed protective order. A new one must be filed this week.

The case is Rivera v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. Store Number 4388, 20-cv-4990 (Fox)

December 7, 2020

Gas Station Robbery On City Island In The Bronx In July Yields Guilty Plea In December, Sentencing in March, Song Here

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 4 – A man in a surgical mask robbed a gas station on City Island in The Bronx on July 28, 2020.

There was a security video, and on it he briefly took down his mask. 

  Soon a Wanted poster yielded two anonymous tip to the police, with the perpetrator's name Michael O'Neill being given and even his address.

 By August 25 a Federal complaint for Hobbs Act robbery was sworn out and he was arrested. 

 On December 4, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Denise L. Cote held a change of plea proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.   

O'Neill, with a Federal Defender, was admitting to robbery but saying that it was not a gun he used, but rather an unidentified "tool." 

Likewise, the theft of the gas station attendant's cell phone which was in the Complaint was no longer mentioned. So he faces up to 41 months.

  Here is this reporter's Dec 5 song based (loosely) off this, called CourtCall, here.

The sentencing is set for March 5 at noon.

The case is US v. O'Neill, 20-cr-488 (Cote)

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)