This Week in Allegedly: SCOTUS and Covid-19

Good morning!

We hope that you enjoyed Thanksgiving, even if it was weird and limited this year. Since it’s still kind of a holiday, this week’s Allegedly is a bit shorter, but we do hope that you’ll enjoy catching up on this week’s New York City courts and crime news--which includes reports involving SCOTUS, Covid-19, and Trump. 

The Allegedly List

  • In a decision late Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited New York authorities from enforcing some social distancing requirements at houses of worship in areas with high Covid-19 rates. The 5-4 vote counted Amy Coney Barrett--Trump’s newly confirmed, conservative justice--in the majority.  The three liberal justices and chief justice John Roberts were in the dissent; earlier in 2020, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a justice, 5-4 splits on this issue upheld coronavirus-related social restrictions. Via Associated Press

  • Despite indoor social distancing requirements and capacity limits, news emerged this week that several large-scale weddings were held in the Hasidic community. A report emerged this week revealing that the Yetev Lev synagogue in Williamsburg, which can hold 7,000 people, was packed on Nov. 8 for the high-profile wedding of Joel Teitelbaum, Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum’s grandson; Monday night, two major Satmar families wed in Kiryas Joel in a sizable ceremony, followed by continued celebration in Bed-Stuy Tuesday night. Via New York Post and Gothamist 

  • A shop cat in Chelsea was catnapped by the woman who offered to take care of him during COVID-19 shutdowns this spring, a new Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit alleged.  Zivadin “Chris” Krstic, who owns Chris King of Foliage, claimed that a woman who routinely stopped by the shop to visit Sammy has refused to return him and won’t return his calls and messages. “I don’t have a boyfriend. He’s good company and you don’t clean his teeth,'” Krstic accused the woman as saying. Via New York Post

  • An ex-New York Police Department civilian employee was busted Thursday after attempting to hijack an MTA bus--while dressed like a cop, according to the NYPD. Cops alleged that Joseph McGreevy boarded the bus at Canal Street and Sixth Avenue while sporting an NYPD uniform and demanded that the driver bring him to Brooklyn. The driver recognized that McGreevy wasn’t an actual cop and alerted authorities; he faces criminal impersonation of a public officer, as well as obstruction of governmental administration charges. Via New York Post

  • The NYPD officer arrested for allegedly running a Long Island pill-mill peddled the drugs that led to a 28-year-old’s death, according to the deceased man’s mother. “The death of my son was an extremely traumatic and life-altering event, which not only took me quite a long time to understand and process what had occurred to my son, but was only made more traumatic by way of police investigations along with media coverage,” the woman wrote in court papers. Matthew Rosenblum, who represents the cop, Joseph Recca, reportedly declined to comment, saying he hadn’t looked at these filings. Via New York Post

  • The Justice Department filed a notice of appeal Wednesday fighting a judge’s decision that DOJ lawyers can’t represent President Donald Trump in sexual assault accuser E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit against him. Carroll alleged in 2019 that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman fitting room at some point in the 1990s. He claimed that Carroll was a liar and “not my  type.” Via New York Daily News

  • The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is poised to fight a state appeals court’s October decision that prosecutors can’t bring mortgage fraud charges against ex-Trump lobbyist Paul Manafort. The Appellate Division, First Department had ruled that Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance’s office couldn’t prosecute Manafort because of New York’s double-jeopardy laws, which bar someone from being tried twice for the same offense. Manhattan prosecutors have maintained that while facts in federal and state cases are the same, both sets of laws relate to different aspects of his alleged crimes. Via New York Daily News

  • A domestic call in Queens left two NYPD officers wounded and a suspect dead in a shooting Tuesday. The officers were making a wellness check around 12:45 pm in Springfield Gardens, following-up on a prior domestic violence report, when CUNY peace officer Rondell Goppy allegedly shot at them; he was killed when they shot back, the NYPD said. The officers, Joseph Murphy and Christopher Wells, left Jamaica Hospital on Thursday greeted by supporters and applause. Via New York Daily News, AM New York