NYPD Officer Pleads Guilty to Extortion and Criminal Civil Rights Violation

Defendant Fabricated Resisting Arrest Charge

Michael Daragjati, an eight-year veteran of the New York City Police Department, pleaded guilty today to violating an African-American victim’s civil rights by charging him with resisting arrest knowing that there was no probable cause to support that charge. Daragjati also pleaded guilty to attempting to violently extort property from another victim. The guilty pleas were entered before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn. As part of his plea agreement, Daragjati will not oppose termination of his employment by the NYPD and has agreed never to apply for a job in law enforcement in the future. Daragjati faces a maximum sentence of 21 years’ imprisonment.

The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

In his plea allocution today, Daragjati admitted that he knew the victim would spend the night in jail after Daragjati charged him with resisting arrest without probable cause. As charged in the government’s pleading filed today, after swearing out the criminal complaint falsely charging the victim with resisting arrest, Daragjati was recorded telling a friend on the telephone that he had just “fried another n****r (expletive deleted).”

Daragjati also threatened and assaulted a second victim in an effort to extort snowplow equipment that Daragjati believed the second victim had stolen from him.

“The defendant criminally abused the immense authority and public trust conferred on him by his status as a police officer,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Hiding behind his badge, he subjected his victims to false arrest, imprisonment and threats of violence. He has been held to account for his criminal acts and will not have the opportunity repeat them.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Fedarcyk stated, “Police officers are expected to carry out their duties with respect and professionalism, and to honor the oath of office. Daragjati admitted to egregious breaches of that oath, including intentionally fabricating a criminal charge, depriving his victim of his liberty. The public should never have to be protected from those sworn to protect and serve.”

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Tuchmann, Cristina Posa and Amy Busa.

The Defendant: