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Charges Dropped Against Chila Lati In Traffic Agent Dispute‏; Hikind Calls For Official Inquiry

Assemblyman Dov Hikind is calling for an official inquiry into the botched arrest and prosecution of Ms. Chila Lati, a 39-year-old Brooklyn mother of four who was arrested in February for allegedly running over the foot of traffic agent Natasha Floyd on January 8, 2010 while trying to evade a parking summons. But Chila Lati’s only crime was having the exact same name and spelling as the actual perpetrator.

Lati’s nightmare began when NYPD detectives from the 61st precinct came banging on her door to arrest her. They declined to tell her what she was being charged with as she was led out of her apartment in handcuffs. She subsequently found out she was facing charges which included assault, reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, menacing, and harassment.

Lati repeatedly told the detectives they had the wrong person; that there were, in fact, several other Chila Latis residing in Brooklyn. The police refused to listen to her, and never bothered to question any of the other Chila Latis. Instead, Lati was interrogated, fingerprinted, body searched, stripped of her personal effects, and ultimately placed in an NYPD line-up and holding cell. She was facing one year in jail, with three years of post-jail probation. Lati had been released on her own recognizance pending trial on June 29.

After learning about this outrageous situation from Lati’s lawyer, Israel Fried, Hikind immediately became involved to help Lati clear her name. Hikind praised Mr. Fried’s excellent legal work, noting that the sheer volume of evidence Mr. Fried amassed in defense of his client should have been sufficient for the authorities to immediately drop all the charges against her.

“It is incomprehensible to me how an arrest was made based on the testimony of the agent who, on three different occasions, failed to identify the correct make, model, color, or license plate number of the vehicle that allegedly ran over her foot,” Hikind said. “This traffic agent should be fired and prosecuted for making a false identification to the authorities.”

Floyd also mistakenly picked Lati out of the line-up. “Floyd’s credibility was shot, and yet, the police decided to hand the case over to the Brooklyn DA’s office anyway,” Hikind noted. “Why was there no proper investigation conducted?

Lati’s horrific experience did not end there. Floyd also hired an attorney to sue Lati for “personal injuries arising out of and as a result of a work related accident. . . through your negligence.” Floyd had no qualms about filing such a lawsuit even though there was no injury noted in her medical records.

Hikind added, “Who knows how many other innocent people have also been arrested under false pretenses? I am thrilled DA Hynes did the right thing in this regard, but I still believe the officers assigned to investigate this case should have their badges revoked.”

(YWN Desk – NYC)

5 Responses

  1. Just goes to show you, it’s their word against yours. Even if you are innocent, they could care less. I hope Ms. Lati sues and gets a big payment. What was done to her was inexcusable.

  2. Police are reuired to have a warrant to arrest someone for a crime committed out of their presence.

    Conservatives who value the good old fashioned things in the Bill of Rights should be outraged (but since as of late we’ve been holding that “original intent” doesn’t matter , we might as well understand that a “flexible” approach to the historic rights leads to a police state).

  3. It is liberals, not conservatives who have that “flexible” approach to our Constitutional rights, and many other things in the Constitution.

  4. why is that today the courts website did know yet about draping the charges ?
    is this a nother story from Hikind ?

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