This Week in Allegedly: Bobby Shmurda and Trump's Tax Returns
Good morning, everyone!
There was a lot of courts and crime news around New York City this week. For The Allegedly List, we’ve got developments on Bobby Shmurda, and an update on that New York man-turned-Florida man who happens to be the former president. Since we got some positive feedback on breaking our lovely newsletter into two weekly installments, we’ll be back Monday with The Allegedly Original. Of course it involves a cat.
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The Allegedly List, from Catherina Gioino:
Rapper Bobby Shmurda was released from prison Tuesday after more than six years behind bars; he will be under community supervision until 2026, state correction officials said. The Brooklyn rapper, legal name Ackquille Pollard, was “conditionally released” from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York; he spent two years in city jail and four years in prison following his December 2014 arrest. Pollard pleaded guilty in September 2016 to weapon and conspiracy charges. Via Vulture.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied Trump’s final effort to keep Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from seeing his personal and business tax returns. “There were no dissents noted” on SCOTUS’ rejection of Trump’s “emergency request” to block Vance’s subpoena. Trump lambasted the court’s ruling Monday, describing Vance’s investigation as “the continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country ... It just never ends!” Via New York Times.
So…this means that Vance has finally gotten his hands on Trump’s tax docs. A spox for the D.A. said prosecutors have now received eight years’ worth of Trump’s returns, right after U.S. Supreme Court rejected Trump’s Hail Mary request. Earlier this month, Vance hired Mark Pomerantz, a career prosecutor who took down Gambino crime family boss John A. “Junior” Gotti and other mobsters, for this probe; last week, Pomerantz conducted the office’s fifth interview of Michael Cohen. Via New York Daily News.
The two lawyers accused of hurling a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD car during last summer’s George Floyd protests were offered a plea deal on Feb. 11, recent court documents indicated. Feds didn’t provide details on their proposed plea deal for Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis relating to their alleged actions on May 29. Prosecutors maintained that Mattis was caught on tape driving with Rahman—whom prosecutors said tossed a burning gas-filled beer bottle into an empty NYPD vehicle. Via New York Daily News.
Queens Republican leader Philip Grillo was arrested Monday for allegedly breaking into the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, authorities said. Grillo, a state committee member for Assembly District 24, was arrested at his girlfriend's house after two people saw him on CNN and called the FBI, prosecutors claimed. The self-proclaimed “Republican Messiah”—who referred to his Glen Oaks neighborhood as “Trump’s Hometown District” on Facebook—was purportedly caught on tape entering the Capitol building after jumping through a broken window and holding a megaphone. Via New York Post.
State court trials are expected to resume in March with New Yorkers receiving jury summons as early as next week, court spokesman Lucian Chalfen said. Many prosecutors and defense attorneys are worried about COVID-19 when in-person civil and criminal trials begin on March 22, as they are still ineligible to receive the vaccine. Chalfen said the state will plan a “slow resumption” of in-person proceedings and that officials would offer to scale back depending on the infection rate. Via New York Daily News.
Peter, Paul and Mary tenor Peter Yarrow was accused on Wednesday of raping an underage girl in a Manhattan hotel room in 1969, according to a lawsuit brought by this accuser. The “Puff, the Magic Dragon” co-writer was accused of “grooming” the minor, who was a fan of his music and had allegedly met him several times during the band’s performances. The Manhattan Supreme Court suit, brought under the Child Victims Act, alleged that the accuser “has been suffering the effects…ever since.” Via New York Post.
A Rochester grand jury decided not to charge the police officers who put a hood over the head of Daniel Prude, and pushed his body against the ground until he stopped breathing, in March. Prude, a Black man who was mentally distraught during this encounter with police, died several days after this incident. Authorities had ruled that his death was a “drug overdose”—but body cam footage emerged in September showing that police roughly subdued him. Via New York Times.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that police would step up investigations and subway patrols in an effort to combat hate crimes targeting Asian-Americans. Last year, there were 28 coronavirus-related hate crimes against Asian people in New York City, the NYPD said. In the most recent reported incident, a man allegedly used hate speech against an Asian man before punching him and stealing his phone in Harlem. Via Wall Street Journal.
A Manhattan federal court judge promised to handle lawsuits filed against the city involving arrests of protesters, during this summer’s George Floyd demonstrations, on an accelerated timeline. Judge Colleen McMahon told city lawyers to avoid dragging out suits. “My attitude toward these cases is they’re going on a rocket docket,” McMahon remarked Monday during a hearing. “I don’t like cases to hang around for a long period of time.” Via Gothamist.
Editor’s note: Although Catherina Gioino is running for office, we don’t think that disqualifies her from writing a roundup of city courts and crime news. We’ve worked with her for quite some time, and we know that she’s an excellent reporter—who’s more than capable of separating this summary from her other work.