In Newsday July 3, 2010 Police Assault Victim retains John Nonnenmacher

Claim of assault by Nassau officers investigated
Sat 03 Jul 2010
ZACHARY R. DOWDY

Nassau County officials are investigating a Jamaica man’s accusation that police officers assaulted him in a police precinct last October.

Darius Burris, 39, filed a notice of claim in January accusing six Nassau officers of inserting a bullet into his rectum to humiliate him during a struggle in the “basement area of the detective squad area” of the Sixth Precinct in Manhasset on Oct. 21.

“They shackled me and took my shoes off my feet,” Burris said, adding that officers held him down on his back, someone put their knee on his chest and “something was stuck up my rectum.”

Burris is at the Nassau County jail on charges stemming from the October incident and an earlier incident.

Police spokesman Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone declined to comment on the notice of claim.

Carole Trottere, a spokeswoman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice , confirmed the

investigation but declined to comment on it. Nassau police’s Internal Affairs Bureau also is investigating.

Burris said he was taken to Nassau University Medical Center because of injuries he sustained during the scuffle and that he complained to doctors.

Medical records from Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow summarize X-rays showing a “bullet-like foreign body in the rectum” on Oct. 22 and in later progress reports until Oct. 28, when the object was removed. The records were given to Newsday by attorney John Nonnenmacher of Manhattan , who filed the notice of claim.

“There has not been an action to dehumanize somebody in this regard since the case of Abner Louima ,” Nonnenmacher said, referring to the 1997 case involving New York City officers who rammed a broken broomstick into Louima’s rectum in a police station in Brooklyn .

One officer in the Louima case was convicted of criminal charges and sentenced to a 30-year prison term.

“And this case, like the Abner Louima case,” Nonnenmacher continued, “is beyond outrageous.”

On Oct. 21, Burris was arrested in a Dix Hills home on a warrant for violating an order of protection filed by a former girlfriend, he said. The order of protection had been issued in Nassau.

“He was taken from Suffolk County to Nassau County and was then assaulted and sodomized while in police custody,” Nonnenmacher said.

Stemming from the Oct. 21 incident, Burris faces charges of second-degree criminal mischief, first-degree criminal contempt, second-degree aggravated harassment and first-degree assault.

Burris has been arrested multiple times and convicted of assault, forgery, possession of stolen property, robbery, menacing and other offenses. He has served jail and prison time.

Burris admits to having been arrested and convicted of other crimes but he said that those incidents do not justify his treatment and have nothing to do with his litigation.

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