FBI New York
FBI New York Press Office
(212) 384-2100
December 9, 2015

Remarks Prepared for Delivery by Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez

The vast majority of law enforcement officials serve their communities with honor and integrity. But when an officer’s conduct exceeds the permissible use of force and violates a person’s civil rights, the foundation of our democracy is threatened.

Today, former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke finds himself on the opposite end of the very laws he was sworn to uphold.

When caught at a crossroads between right and wrong, Burke took a shortcut on the path to justice.

Shortly after identifying Christopher Loeb as the individual suspected of stealing property from Burke’s vehicle, Burke allegedly took it upon himself to interfere with the investigatory process.

When it came time to question the suspect, Burke allegedly assaulted Loeb in the interrogation room of the Suffolk County Police Department’s 4th Precinct.

When an officer’s actions threaten to obstruct the integrity of an investigation, they unjustly call into question the reputation of those among them who respectfully adhere to the code of ethics so valued by the law enforcement community.

Protecting civil rights is among the FBI’s top priorities, and we are the lead federal agency in charge of investigating color of law abuses.

We vow never to forget our obligation to remove from the criminal justice system those who don’t uphold the tenets of the legal system. And we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Suffolk County Police Department.

I’d like to thank U.S. Attorney Robert Capers and the investigators and prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York and the FBI who worked together in this investigation.

- Press release