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She's Got Guts

February 26, 2018

Say this about Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark: She’s got guts.

Unlike some district attorneys in this town, she’s not afraid to take on the NYPD.

Less than a week after Sgt. Hugh Barry was acquitted in the fatal shooting of an emotionally disturbed black woman — including a charge of intentional murder — Clark unsealed an indictment last week against NYPD Capt. Naoki Yaguchi for an incident that occurred nearly a year ago.

She charged Yaguchi with official misconduct and obstructing governmental administration after he allegedly delayed a Breathalyzer test for an off-duty detective involved in a car accident. Authorities are supposed to test a suspect’s blood-alcohol level within two hours of an incident.

Yaguchi, who worked the night of April 22, 2017, as Bronx duty captain, allegedly delayed Det. Efrain Medina’s trip from the 46th Precinct, where the accident occurred, to the 45th Precinct stationhouse, where DWI suspects in the Bronx are tested.

Medina was subsequently arrested and pleaded guilty to driving while impaired — a violation. Because there was a five-hour delay in administering the Breathalyzer test, the results were deemed insufficient for prosecution on the higher charge of driving while intoxicated.

Clark held Yaguchi responsible for that.

The indictment infuriated Captains Endowment President Roy Richter, who said Yaguchi was not on duty when the accident occurred and did not learn of the incident until 90 minutes after it occurred.

According to Richter, police learned of the accident via a 911 call, at 9:36 p.m.. Yaguchi, he said, did not begin his tour until 11 p.m..

“Some time into his first hour of duty, the duty captain received a call from a uniformed supervisor in the 46 precinct, informing him of the incident," Richter wrote in an email. “The duty captain directed the supervisor to transport the off-duty detective to the 45 Precinct for the … exam. The duty captain also responded to the 45 Precinct…”

Richter added: “There are so many facts and details to this case that make the action of the Bronx District Attorney even more obscene and totally without basis.

"Shockingly, the Bronx District Attorney assigns a criminal liability and an indictment against the Bronx duty captain who was not even on duty at the time of the incident and initial investigation.”

But here’s the key question: Was the timing of Yaguchi’s indictment last week in an incident that occurred on April 23, 2017, sending a message to the police after Barry’s acquittal?

Patrice O’Shaughnessy, a longtime Daily News crime reporter who now serves as Clark’s spokeswoman, didn’t respond to that question.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialNEW YORK HAS TWO MAYORS?
If you read Thursday’s City Hall news release about the appointment of J. Phillip Thompson as deputy mayor for strategic services, you might be forgiven for thinking so.


“Phillip is one of the foremost experts on how to better serve and lift up low-income neighborhoods, and has spent decades fighting in the trenches for progressive causes,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in the release.

“As a scholar, activist and public servant, Phil Thompson has never shied away from the tough challenges that affect our communities — from economic, racial and health disparities to environmental justice and affordable housing,” McCray said in the release.

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittThe mayor’s wife has played a prominent role in the five years of de Blasio’s mayoralty, although this is the first time she has jointly appointed anyone to city government.

She is featured in daily City Hall news releases, supporting issues relating to mental health and the city’s low-income, primarily African-American, communities. She has also attended a CompStat meeting at Police Plaza, and introduced Commissioner Jim O’Neill at his swearing in ceremony.

Last Friday, she was off to Atlanta. As a City Hall news release stated the day before: “On Friday, First Lady McCray will travel to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in a series of events related to the Power Rising Summit: Building an Agenda for Black Women. The Power Rising Summit provides a space for Black women and girls from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to come together and leverage collective wisdom and experience to turn power into action.

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD Confidential“In the afternoon, the First Lady will participate in a panel discussion entitled, ‘40 Years of Black Feminism … What’s Next.”

Alas, those wanting to see her as the city’s co-mayor may be disappointed. Turns out that the news release regarding the joint appointment of Thompson was a “mistake,” says Dawnn Anderson, a spokeswoman for McCray.

“It should have read: ‘Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray today announced the appointment’ ” of J. Phillip Thompson, Anderson said. She added that the release had been corrected online.

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