The former police chief of Suffolk County pleaded guilty on Friday to federal charges stemming from accusations that he beat a suspect in custody, threatened to kill him and then coerced his fellow officers into covering up the misconduct.
The former chief, James Burke, 51, who was known for his swaggering confidence as the leader of one of the region’s largest police departments...
The charges against Mr. Burke stemmed from an episode in December 2012 when Christopher Loeb, a heroin addict who financed his $100-a-day habit by breaking into cars, was arrested on suspicion of stealing a duffel bag stuffed with cigars, pornographic DVDs and sex toys from Mr. Burke’s police car.
He was brought to a precinct house and shackled to the floor.
In a 2013 court hearing, Mr. Loeb testified that when he asked for a lawyer, one detective told him, “This isn’t ‘Law & Order’; you’re not going to get an attorney.”
When Mr. Burke entered the interrogation room, Mr. Loeb “was handcuffed and chained to an eyebolt fastened to the floor,” according to prosecutors.
Christopher Loeb Credit Suffolk County Sheriff Department
“Chief Burke grabbed me by my cheeks and hit me on the top of my head,” Mr. Loeb testified during his 2013 trial, during which he was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison.
Mr. Loeb responded to the thrashing by calling Mr. Burke “a pervert” and mocking him for the pornography he found in his car, according to federal prosecutors.
At that point, prosecutors said, Mr. Burke “went out of control, screaming and cursing at Loeb and assaulting him until a detective finally said, ‘Boss, that’s enough, that’s enough.’”
After the interrogation, Mr. Burke pressured the detectives who witnessed the assault to conceal it.http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/27/nyr ... ce-chief-guilty-plea.html