Drunken Killer Cop And NYPD Cover-up?

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

Is the New York Police Derpartment (NYPD) covering up for a drunken officer who ran over and killed a minister’s daughter last September, in Brooklyn?

Judging by the curious behavior of some in the NYPD it’s hard to shake that suspicion.

Vionique Valnord, 32, was trying to catch a cab, in Old Mill Basin, when she was run down and killed by Officer Andrew Kelly. She had just left a wedding. At the crash scene, Officer Kelly, apparently intoxicated, reportedly refused to take a Breathalyzer.

He also, allegedly, told investigators they would have “to tie me down” to obtain his blood. He is said to have admitted to drinking six to eight beers.

Perplexingly, for reasons the NYPD still needs to explain fully, Officer Kelly was allowed a seven-hour delay before he was compelled to go to a hospital and take a sobriety test. Why so?

The test, supposedly, came back negative for alcohol. However, Officer Kelly is currently being charged with vehicular manslaughter and DWI. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said investigators are seeking to determine if Kelly’s fellow cops engaged in a cover-up. Indeed there are many troubling questions to be answered here.

How fast was Officer Kelly driving? What possible reason could he have for refusing the Breathalyzer, if he wasn’t intoxicated? What was he and NYPD investigators doing during those silent seven hours? If he tested negative for alcohol, why is he now being charged with DWI? Unfortunately, while we aren’t being given logical answers to these crucial questions, people in local media are unknowingly, or knowingly, helping to disparage the victim.

Last Tuesday, it was reported that Officer Kelly’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, plans to use a toxicology report which found that Ms. Valnord was also legally drunk. According to Aidala, “She was drunk and she wandered into traffic.” He also opined: “Probably her judgment contributed to this accident.”

What about Officer Kelly’s “judgment?” Some in the New York press seem to be participating in manufacturing a defense for Officer Kelly. Ironically, while they tell us Valnord was drunk, they can’t seem to tell us much about Officer Kelly’s alcohol test. Some can’t seem to ever stop excusing the bad behavior of bad cops. Assuming, for a moment, Valnor was really drunk, is that supposed to negate the conduct of this officer?

Valnor was said to have been waving down a cab. So, if she was drunk how does that absolve Officer Kelly from driving drunk and killing her while she was standing up? Unfortunately, walking disasters like Officer Kelly illustrate a larger problem within the NYPD.

Incidents like this are perpetrated too often by those who have sworn a “duty to protect and serve.” The 50 shot execution of Sean Bell was, apparently, precipitated by the alcohol-fueled hallucinations of an undercover officer. And, a couple of weeks after Officer Kelly killed Valnord, another NYPD officer mowed down a 67-year-old woman in the Bronx. In that case, Albanian immigrant Drane Nikac was run over by an inebriated Officer Kevin Spellman at W. 232nd St. and Kingsbridge Ave.

Reports say Spellman ran a light before slamming into Nikac. Spellman also refused to take a Breathalyzer; twice. Spellman was eventually charged with criminally negligent homicide, vehicular homicide and DWI. And, do you remember, Officer Joseph Gray who ran down and killed four people, including a pregnant woman in Brooklyn on Aug. 4, 2001?

In that incident, Officer Gray had been drinking, at several locations including a strip club, which was supposedly off-limits to cops. Reportedly, other cops were also drinking with him, and they thought nothing of letting him drive off drunk. Consequently, Gray killed pregnant 23-year-old Maria Herrera, 4-year-old Andy Herrera and Maria Herrera’s 16-year-old sister Dilcia Pena.

Maria Herrera’s baby died after being delivered by emergency Caesarean section. In May 2002, Officer Gray was convicted by a Brooklyn jury of second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to five to fifteen years for recklessly killing four people.
Unfortunately, the straight line between these horrible cases of drunken cops is this: punishment for the irresponsible behavior of cops is virtually non-existent within the NYPD. The Blue Wall protects the criminal conduct of cops.

Therefore, in the final analysis the killing of Vionique Valnord isn’t the fault of Officer Kelly alone. Officer Kelly should be punished for his criminal actions. But, the institution of the NYPD is an accessory to the crime. Keep in mind, besides the cases of Officer Kelly and Spellman there was also the arrest of Detective James O’Connell, last December, for his DWI crash at Queens Midtown Tunnel.

Question: what is the culture of the NYPD doing to discourage the negligent actions of cops like O’Connell, Spellman and Kelly? Sadly, similar tragedies will continue, until there is real reform in the NYPD.

Please post your comments directly online or submit them to milton@blackstarnews.com

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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