What to Know
- A cop in New Jersey has pleaded guilty to using excessive force on people he stopped and filing false police reports to cover up the crimes
- Paterson Officer Eudy Ramos was accused of violating people's civil rights in an elaborate scheme with other officers to steal cash
- On the first occasion, the officers took $10,000 from a passenger in a vehicle they stopped, then omitted any mention in the police report
A police officer in New Jersey has pleaded guilty to using excessive force on people he stopped and filing false police reports to cover up his criminal activity.
Paterson Officer Eudy Ramos was accused of violating people's civil rights in an elaborate scheme with other officers using code words to steal cash.
The 28-year-old was part of a ploy from 2016 through Aptil 2018 in which he and two other officers allegedly targeted, stopped and searched vehicles and passengers — as well as people on the street — to illegally seize cash from them, prosecutors said.
The officers would then split the cash and file false reports by either omitting or lying about their alleged conduct, according to court documents.
On Monday, Ramos admitted to conspiring to violate individuals civil rights, filing a false police report and using unreasonable and excessive force.
In a nine-count indictment, prosecutors said Ramos and the other officers would text code words to talk about their alleged scheme. In one instance, prosecutors said Ramos texted them asking if they were in the mood for “weekend mangoes” and referring to the illegal seizure of cash as “mango.”
Ramos admitted to five separate occasions in February 2017 of stopping a vehicle and stealing money from those inside, with four of those stops netting Ramos and the others more than a $1,000. On the first occasion, the officers took $10,000 from a passenger in a vehicle they stopped, then intentionally omitted any mention of the cash on the police report.
In addition to the thefts, Ramos admitted that he and the officers would deliver a "running tax" to individuals they arrested who tried to flee — referring to beatdowns they would give to those who ran. He also slammed the brakes of his police cruiser while transporting a man under arrest, causing him to hit his head on the divider, and also let a burglary victim punch the suspect.
Ramos was previously charged in a separate criminal complaint last April, conspiring to deprive people of their civil rights under color of law, prosecutors said.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 8, 2020, where Ramos faces up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.