An NYPD officer accused of lying about the arrest of an unarmed man and later using racially charged language about that arrest has pleaded guilty to a civil rights charge.
Michael Daragjati, 32, entered the plea Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court. The NYPD said later that he had been terminated.
Daragjati, who is white, allegedly lied when he wrote a police report claiming a black man had shoved and kicked him during a stop-and-frisk on Staten Island on April 15. The FBI said the unarmed man verbally complained about the stop but never shoved Daragjati.
During a call to a supervisor, Daragjati claimed it took four officers to subdue the man who had been wrestling with him to resist arrest, according to the criminal complaint. In a later call to a female friend that was being recorded by investigators, Daragjati allegedly said, “I got it all done but, fried another n------.’
When the female friend asked what he just said, Daragjati allegedly repeated,” Another n----- fried, no big deal."
These conversations were captured on a wiretap that a court approved after numerous allegations against Daragjati came to light. Once the wire was up, conversations about the racially charged arrest were recorded.
Prosecutors said Daragjati used racial epithets in about 12 other recordings. He was held for two nights at the 120th Precinct before agreeing to plead guilty to a disorderly conduct charge. Prosecutors said he copped the plea in order to avoid going to jail on the more serious resisting arrest charge.
Daragjati's lawyer said outside court Tuesday that his client is not a racist and is a family man whose life has been ruined by a case of poor judgment.