Wednesday, August 31, 2022


Here's a headline on the website of local TV channel WPIX:
Former NYPD cop claims he was canned for supporting ‘MAGA’ ideals: lawsuit
The same headline appears at The Hill, accompanying the same story.

We all know that in 2022 many people don't read stories -- they just read headlines. These headlines say this cop was canned for thoughtcrime. But he wasn't, as the story makes clear:
A former NYPD officer claims he was booted from the police department for his right-wing political views and his interpersonal relationships with former Donald Trump advisor Roger Stone and Manhattan Madam Kristin Davis.

Salvatore Greco was at the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and was filmed palling around with Stone and Davis, who was convicted of prostitution, at a Washington. D.C. hotel but was never accused of doing anything illegal or violent at the riots, according to a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Greco is suing the NYPD, claiming the department and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell violated his First Amendment rights when they terminated him for supporting ‘Making America Great Again’ ideals. He acknowledged he has “familial” and “political” ties to Stone and Davis, and also supports extremist groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, the suit said.
So Greco hangs out with Roger Stone (and Kristin Davis, a former madam who claimed disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer as a client, then ran for governor herself as a stunt candidate, with Stone as a campaign adviser; she was later questioned by Robert Mueller). Also, he supports the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. That seems like reason enough to remove him from the police force. You could argue that a cop should have freedom of association, though it seems clear that the NYPD doesn't agree. (The specific infraction is consorting with a felon, although Stone's felony conviction was overturned by a Donald Trump pardon.) What you can't argue is that he was fired solely for his political beliefs.

But Greco got WPIX and The Hill to make that claim in a headline. And that's all many people will see.

This is awful journalism.

A March story in the New York Daily News lays out the NYPD's actual case against Greco in more detail:
An NYPD police officer faced a departmental trial Tuesday for allegedly working as unpaid security for Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone alongside members of the far right Oath Keepers militia.

The disciplinary proceeding against Officer Salvatore Greco pits free speech against a rule barring cops from hanging out with convicted felons.

Greco faces a range of charges for associating with Stone from July 2019 through March 2021, in particular in Washington, D.C., during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

To make their case against Greco, NYPD prosecutors said they will submit a recorded statement from Joshua James, an Oath Keeper from Alabama facing federal charges of seditious conspiracy in connection with the D.C. riot.

“Joshua James told us how he and Sal Greco worked security for Stone on Jan. 5 and 6,” NYPD prosecutor Samuel Yee told Assistant Deputy Trials Commissioner Paul Gamble....

Greco attended Stone’s February 2020 sentencing to 40 months in prison for lying to Congress — and their friendship continued well after that. The cop is also charged with evading investigators’ questions and associating with Stone’s friend “Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis, who was convicted of prostitution-related activities and selling prescription drugs....

Greco carried a gun as he worked “uncompensated” security for Stone and Davis during the Jan. 6 riot, and was with Stone’s Oath Keepers security team that included James, Yee said....

Yee also alleged Greco had “repeated” contacts with the Proud Boys, another right wing group. And he was “evasive” under police questioning.
That's a lot more than thoughtcrime.

If you could really lose your job at the NYPD for "supporting MAGA ideals," there'd barely be a white cop left in the city. But your right-wing relatives will see the headline and insist that's what's happening.

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