Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Underage Sting - I love the cops

I happen to know someone who’s establishment was the target of one of these types of “Stings”. 

The draconian tactics these cops use are insane (often using actual legal age agents, but with false IDs) – but this takes the cake.

I really struggle that Prosecutor didn’t know there was video evidence, and that it clearly showed the guy refusing to sell, and I cannot believe the cashier pleaded out….well, I can – but his lawyer should have done a discovery.

I really hate that the onus is on the shopkeeper and seldom is the purchaser (who is perpetrating fraud and breaking the law) held responsible.  The larger fine rides with those with the deeper pockets. 

I liken this to someone robbing a bank with a note that just says “Give me all your money”.  The note isn't threatening, and the cashier isn't charged with robbing a bank when they hand the cash over.  Instead, common sense takes over and we realize who “The Bad Guy” is here.

Sadly, because the kids are underage – they put the responsibility on the shop keeper.  How about fine the parents and hold them responsible for the actions of their underage kids.

That is just a thought.

Cheers -

PS – Following the link also takes you to the video

Underage booze sale bust is blasted after video shows clerk Ismael Duran refused to sell Smirnoff Ice to teen

A POLICE STING nabbed a Brooklyn bodega worker for selling booze to a minor — even though a security video shows the clerk refusing to do so, the Daily News has learned.

Before he realized the video would acquit him, Ismael Duran pleaded guilty to avoid spending time behind bars.

But now a bodega industry group is pressing the Brooklyn district attorney’s office to vacate the plea — and to investigate the police officers involved.

“This kind of illegal activity is not going to fly,” said Fernando Mateo, spokesman for the Bodega Association of the United States.

“If we didn’t have the video, this guy would be screwed.”

Duran, 44, a married father of three who immigrated from the Dominican Republic three years ago, was arrested April 12 at the Giselle Mini Mart in Brownsville.

Auxiliary Police Officer Anthony Harriott, 18, tried to buy a Smirnoff Ice in an undercover operation, but was denied after showing Duran his identification, court papers show.

“I did everything right,” Duran said. “I asked for the ID. I told him no.”

But minutes later, Stanfiel Collymore, 51, a customer who witnessed Duran turn Harriott away, bought the booze and gave it to Harriott outside the store.

Court papers state that Collymore had arranged to take Harriott’s money in view of Duran.

But Kevin Faga, Duran’s lawyer, argued the clerk was busy dealing with other customers.

Collymore and Duran were both charged with selling alcohol to a minor and unlawfully dealing with a child — but Collymore’s case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

Faga said that when Duran was arraigned he took the advice of his then-lawyer, who told him he could go home if he pleaded guilty and paid a $120 fine.

“He was afraid he’d have to go to Rikers if he couldn’t post bail,” Faga said.

The DA’s office declined to comment on Duran’s case, and an NYPD spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

But a law enforcement source said prosecutors have seen the video and are considering vacating Duran’s plea.

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