A New York City police officer was arrested on Monday on federal civil rights charges for a false, racially motivated arrest. Federal prosecutors claim that Officer Michael Daragjati, an eight-year veteran of the department, allegedly arrested a black man without proper cause.
On April 15, Daragjati allegedly stopped an unidentified man on Targee Street in the Stapleton section of Staten Island, according to The New York Times. Contraband was not discovered on the individual, and Daragjati charged the man with resisting arrest.
He further claimed that the man began to flail his arms and kick his legs, while he was being detained. The man was held at 120th Precinct in the St. George section of Staten Island for two nights before he agreed to plead guilty to a disorderly conduct charge instead of resisting arrest, according to NBC.
On April 16, after securing a warrant to tap his phones, the government recorded a conversation between the officer and a female friend. Daragjati was allegedly overheard using racial slurs as he recounted the incident.
I sat there for a couple of hours by the time I got it all done but, fried another nigger, said Daragjati.
Prosecutors also say that in an earlier unrelated incident, Daragjati abused his authority as a police officer when he threatened another man for allegedly stealing a snow plow from him. Eight of Daragjati's friends beat the man and threatened him with a gun, urging him to return the snow plow to the officer.
Daragjati is charged with a misdemeanor civil rights violation., and will be arraigned in Brooklyn federal court. If convicted, he could be sentenced up to a year in prison and a fine of up $100,000.