Outspoken critic of NYPD policy is arrested
NEW YORK (AP) – An outspoken opponent of the New York Police Department’s stop and frisk policy was accused of selling bogus tickets to Broadway shows and other sought-after events, according to court documents.
Angel Ortiz, 19, was charged with grand larceny Monday. His lawyer didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Manhattan prosecutors say Ortiz sold a pair of fake tickets to the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Book of Mormon” for $350 in total and a set of three phony tickets for $480. Tickets to the show run from about $70 to about $300 per ticket.
He was also accused of selling a pair of tickets to the award-winning “Kinky Boots” for $280. Tickets for that show usually cost $90 to $160 each.
Ortiz is part of a federal lawsuit challenging a program known as Operation Clean Halls that sends police to patrol private dwellings. He and others say police harassed people coming and going from their homes, especially black and Hispanic men.
The case is related to the large federal trial last year on the department’s stop-and-frisk policy. A federal judge found the department violated civil rights of New Yorkers and ordered major reforms to the overall stop-and-frisk tactic and the Clean Halls program. But those changes are on hold pending appeals.
Ortiz appeared at a news conference in October 2012 with others involved in the lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, saying he was stopped and wrongly arrested for trespassing outside his Bronx building. The NYPD has said it does not profile and does not misuse the policy.
Ortiz is due back in court Thursday. Prosecutors say he also sold fake tickets online to a Michael Buble concert, two for $309 in all. Officers later grabbed Ortiz with seven other forged Michael Buble tickets in a black briefcase after working with the hoodwinked ticket-buyer to reach out to Ortiz, according to a criminal complaint.
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