Queens cop’s lawsuit claims ‘illegal search’ of her home was not an ‘isolated incident’

NYPD Officer Kyna Philip filed a lawsuit against 11 fellow officers in federal court for the Eastern District of New York on April 30.  Eagle  photo by Rob Abruzzese

NYPD Officer Kyna Philip filed a lawsuit against 11 fellow officers in federal court for the Eastern District of New York on April 30. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

By David Brand

A Queens cop has sued the city and several members of the NYPD in federal court after she says officers illegally searched her home, arrested her and relegated her to desk duty in 2016, resulting in a demotion and loss of income.  

A team of NYPD officers arrived at Officer Kyna Philip’s home in Jamaica at about 6 a.m. on May 4, 2016 and “unlawfully and violently” entered the premises and “recklessly ransacked” the residence, according to the lawsuit filed April 30. Philip and her attorney claim that the officers did not present a “proper warrant or probable cause” before entering the home.

The lawsuit also claims the “event was not an isolated incident.”

“A disturbing number of [NYPD] officers use excessive force, unlawful search and seizure of citizens, bring charges against citizens with no legal basis, perjure themselves in charging instruments and testimony, and fail to intervene in and report the obviously illegal actions of fellow officers,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit specifically names Sergeant John Prager and 10 unknown NYPD officers — each identified as “John Doe” — who conducted the search. The complaint claims the officers “willfully damaged [Philip’s] home, stole her personal property and damaged her personal property,” worth more than $75,000.

During the search, the officers found a small amount of marijuana and ammunition in the home, the lawsuit states. They arrested Philip, “battered” her and placed her in “a holding cell for many hours,” according to the lawsuit.

She was issued a desk appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of ammunition. The Queens District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges with prejudice in June 2016. Philip continues to serve as an NYPD officer.

NYPD supervisors put Philip on desk duty, however, resulting in lost overtime and wages, said her attorney Edward Muccini. Philip is seeking compensatory damages and punitive damages to make up for the lost income, he said.

“We don’t know if they had a warrant. They claim they did,” Muccini told the Eagle. “The day after, they put her on desk duty, resulting in lost income. Our position is we don’t know if there was a warrant or who was the target.”

Muccini said the officers were likely targeting Philip’s ex-husband, who had not lived in the home for many years. He said he is awaiting discovery material that might explain the search.

“If she’s not the target, why not let her know, unless they thought she was acting in concert?” Muccini said. “There are other ways to do it than raiding the house at 6 in the morning.”

A New York City Law Department spokesperson told the Eagle that they “will review the lawsuit once we are served.”