In the months after a jogger was slain in Howard Beach and police went on an intense hunt for her killer, detectives on the orders of top NYPD brass fanned out and demanded DNA swabs from some 360 black and Hispanic men because they had been previously arrested in the Queens neighborhood, the Daily News has learned.
The experience was not only humiliating for several of these men, in some cases their family members were harassed and intimidated by investigators, they claim.
Legal experts, meanwhile, said the initiative likely violated the civil rights of the men who were approached, and is indicative of the NYPD’s “racially biased” policing tactics.
One man told the Daily News his parents were so rattled by repeated visits from 106th Precinct detectives they sold their house and moved to Westchester County. A second said detectives interrogated and terrified his teenaged niece when they mistakenly went to his sister’s home looking for him. Another man said he was embarrassed and stigmatized because his neighbors saw him get stopped at his door by detectives.