Target: New York Police Department Commissioner William J. Bratton
Goal: Indefinitely suspend Sgt. Diana Pichardo without pay for allegedly pointing her gun at an innocent bystander who was filming an arrest.
New York Police Sergeant Diana Pichardo allegedly pointed her gun at a man who was filming an arrest in the hallway of his housing project. She then reportedly led a team of officers into the man’s home for an illegal search. This kind of abuse of power and intimidation is completely unwarranted and unacceptable. New York Police Department Commissioner William J. Bratton must indefinitely suspend Sgt. Pichardo without pay pending an internal investigation of this incident.
The man behind the camera, David Rivera, claims that he was watching a movie with his girlfriend inside his apartment when he heard a commotion outside in the hallway. Upon opening the door, he reportedly encountered Pichardo and her fellow officers struggling with a group of individuals who were under arrest. Rivera reportedly took out his phone to record the incident. Pichardo allegedly responded by pointing her gun at Rivera, yelling obscenities at him, and ordering him to go back into his apartment.
Rivera reportedly backed up into the doorway of his apartment but continued to film the ongoing events in the hallway. At this point, Pichardo allegedly snatched the phone out of Rivera’s hand, pulled him out into the hallway, and handcuffed him. Pichardo then allegedly led a group of officers into Rivera’s home and began an illegal search. Rivera captured this illegal search on camera as well with security cameras that he had installed in various rooms throughout the apartment. He was also held in police custody for 43 hours before being released without ever seeing a judge.
Rivera has since reported the incident to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Pichardo herself has already been listed as a defendant in 20 different federal lawsuits. According to court records, the city of New York has paid out settlements totalling nearly $400,000 to the plaintiffs involved in such cases.
Pichardo’s checkered legal past as an officer and her alleged intimidation tactics as captured on film by Mr. Rivera should not be taken lightly. Pointing a gun at a camera-wielding civilian, illegally searching his home, and unlawfully detaining him for almost two days certainly constitutes severe misconduct on Pichardo’s part. Demand that NYPD Commissioner Bratton indefinitely suspends Sgt. Pichardo without pay pending an internal investigation of her actions.
Dear Commissioner Bratton,
The allegations against Sgt. Diana Pichardo made by David Rivera are deeply troubling. Video evidence captured by Rivera himself seems to show Sgt. Pichardo pointing her gun at him simply because he was filming her as she made an arrest. This abuse of power and intimidation of a civilian should not be taken lightly. Sgt. Pichardo needs to be indefinitely suspended without pay pending the results of the NYPD’s internal investigation into this incident.
Pichardo’s alleged misconduct goes beyond pointing her gun at an innocent bystander. She also reportedly led a group of officers into Rivera’s home where they performed an illegal search of the apartment. Pichardo then reportedly detained Rivera unlawfully for 43 hours before he was released without ever seeing a judge.
There was no reason for Sgt. Pichardo to point her gun at Mr. Rivera, nor was there any reason to search his home and detain him. Considering Pichardo’s checkered past with regards to numerous federal lawsuits filed against her, this does not paint a flattering picture of her as an officer of the law. I urge you to indefinitely suspend Sgt. Pichardo without pay pending the NYPD’s internal investigation of her actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jesse Ward