Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by ADIC William F. Sweeney, Jr. on Arrests of Three Former Police Officers and Former Assistant District Attorney
Law enforcement officials are granted authority to uphold the fundamental rule of law. But any abuse of this power—no matter how great or how small—is nothing short of a crime in and of itself.
Today, as detailed by Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, a series of gun expediters and former NYPD officers of various ranks face charges of bribery and conspiracy—among other things—for their alleged role in unjustly approving gun permits and receiving bribes, or offering bribes, in exchange for special favors.
In many cases, as alleged, renewal applications were expedited, incident investigations were resolved more quickly than usual, and beneficial resolutions were reached regarding these incident investigations that might not otherwise have been.
As alleged today, the processing of gun permits at the behest of the gun expediters didn’t come without significant risk to public safety.
In one particular incident, the NYPD’s License Division hit a roadblock while processing a request for an applicant with a significant criminal history. Instead of denying this individual a license, the approval was pushed through by some involved in this scheme.
To make matters worse, the applicant’s brother was also approved for a license so that he could purchase a gun on behalf of the applicant without scrutiny from a gun seller, who would be required to conduct an FBI background check.
This detour in judgment—among other, similar decisions by those charged—is what leads us here today.
Not only does the behavior alleged today threaten the safety of our communities, it also runs the risk of eroding the public’s perception of the law enforcement community overall; This is a narrative we’d like to confront head-on.
The vast majority of NYPD officers who willingly protect our city each and every day, no matter the risks, shouldn’t be associated with a select few who, as charged, placed a higher priority on satisfying their desires than upholding the law.
We received significant assistance from the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau during the course of this investigation, which should serve as a reminder of their dedication to bringing to justice those who refuse to abide by proper standards of conduct.
In closing, I’d like to thank our other partners in this investigation, including Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell Capone, Kan Nawaday, and Lauren Schorr.
I would also like to thank and congratulate the FBI’s public corruption investigative team for their dedication and the hard work they put in to bring this case to its conclusion.