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Dead husband not here: Brooklyn woman files harassment suit against NYPD

The 79th Precinct at 263 Tompkins Ave. in Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

A man has been dead for more than six years, but this has not stopped the New York City Police officers from appearing at the man’s home seeking information about his whereabouts, the deceased’s wife alleges in a recently filed federal lawsuit.

James Jordan Jr. and a friend were arrested at Jordan’s Brooklyn home in July 2013 on charges of weapons possession. Jordan and his associate were eventually released from detention and the charges against them dismissed. The police, however, continued its search of evidence against Jordan, a new suit alleges, by creating phony warrants in the name of Jordan’s deceased father: James E. Jordan, Sr.

The senior Jordan passed away in March 2006, but the police have on “ at least four (4) separate occasions this year, defendant officers have appeared at the plaintiffs’ home on numerous occasions claiming that they had an arrest warrant for the late James E. Jordan,” the suit filed by Jordan, Jr., and his mother Karen Fennell asserts.

The plaintiffs have not specifically alleged that the name confusion was a intentionally deceptive ploy by the NYPD, but the complaint notes that officers often “force[d] their way into the plaintiffs’ home under the guise of executing an arrest warrant against said deceased individual.”

“[Jordan Sr.,’s] dead so many years and they keep coming back,” said the family’s Brooklyn attorney, Ugochukwu Uzoh.

Whether the police actions were intentional or an honest confusion of names, Jordan Jr., and Fennell contend that the persistent police visits have caused emotional distress.  “[T]he plaintiffs are now terrified to live in their own home,” the suit asserts. The parties even went as far as putting Jordan Sr.’s death certificate on their front door as a means to detract the police. The certificate has since been removed due to personal information contained within the document.

Uzoh describes the NYPD’s acts as akin to the controversial stop-and-frisk policy. “The conduct of defendant officers, as described herein, amounted to false arrest, unlawful entry, excessive use of force, malicious abuse of process, failure to intervene, unlawful stop and frisk, unreasonable detention, unreasonable search and seizure, racial profiling,” the suit said. Uzoh also attacks the alleged lack of training and supervision provided to the officers of the 79th precinct.

“Most of the arrests and charges made by officers assigned to the NYPD-79th Precinct are usually voided and/or dismissed by prosecutors for lack of evidence,” Uzoh alleges of the Bedford-Stuyvesant precinct.

Seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, the parties are seeking financial redress for the alleged violation of their constitutional rights.

The NYPD did not have an immediate comment on the suit.

May 7, 2014 - 4:00pm


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