An NYC police officer is being accused of molesting over a dozen Black and Latino men. According to an investigative report by ProPublica, Assistant Chief Christopher McCormack has a reputation of inappropriately touching and strip-searching men while in police custody. Despite numerous complaints, the officer avoided punishment and has been promoted.
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McCormack who allegedly went by ‘Red Rage’ due to his red hair and reputation for using excessive force, has been documented countless times throughout the years for problematic behavior.
According to ProPublica, the city settled cases filed against the officer and many of the complaints sent to the Civilian Complaint Review Board were hidden from the public’s view.
The story references a specific complaint by Unique Kennedy, a man who claims McCormack placed his hand inside his underwear in search of drugs to the point where he felt like he was being sexually abused.
A federal government advisor on police accountability, Alex Vitale, told ProPublica the fact that the officer’s crimes were covered up exposes flaws in our criminal justice system.
“In any normally functioning system, this would be considered a huge red flag and something would have to be done about it,” said Vitale. “If there is a pattern of even unsubstantiated complaints, this should be considered a warning sign.”
But McCormack continues to move up the ladder. According to ProPublica, the officer’s relationships with other high-ranking officers, like former NYPD commissioner James O’Neil is what prevents him from being reprimanded.
“Chris is a hard worker, but he has been accused of many things in his career,” says an NYPD precinct commander who is not authorized to speak out on McCormack’s criminal allegations. “If he wasn’t good friends with O’Neill,” he said, “they would have held him back.”
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