Lauren P. Raysor Files Complaint on Behalf of Man Falsely Arrested for Drug Sale and Possession

MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK — On November 21, 2020, attorney Lauren P. Raysor held a press conference in front of the Law Offices of Lauren P. Raysor to announce that she has filed a complaint on behalf of Gordon Tarrant, a Mount Vernon resident who claims he was falsely arrested for sale and possession of drugs. The defendants named in this case include the City of Mount Vernon and Westchester County Police Departments and members of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and Mount Vernon Police Officer Carmelo Antonini.

Attorney Lauren P. Raysor (left) listens to her client, Gordon Tarrant (right), address the media about being falsely arrested for drug sale and possession during a press conference that was held in front of Ms. Raysor’s office on November 21.
(Photo Courtesy of Black Westchester)

On the morning of April 26, 2018, Mr. Tarrant was in his Mount Vernon apartment when he heard a loud pounding at the door. He looked out the window and saw officers from the Mount Vernon and Westchester County Police Departments. They identified themselves as “parole, probation and pardon services.” As he answered the door, officers told him to drop the phone, threw him against the wall and handcuffed him. Mr. Tarrant asked about a warrant for his arrest, but it was never produced.

After being searched twice, Mr. Tarrant was transported to the Mount Vernon Police Station and booked on charges of Bail Jumping in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. The charges were dismissed by the DA’s office.

The Plaintiff is seeking damages resulting from violations of his rights to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure; violation of his rights to Due Process of Law; violation of his New York State constitutional rights; physical pain and suffering; emotional trauma and suffering, including fear, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, frustration, extreme inconvenience and anxiety; and loss of liberty.

“Police Officer Antonini, among others, and the Westchester County Police Department, together with the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, conspired to imprison a man and violate his civil and constitutional rights,” Ms. Raysor said. “The officers and the DA’s office need to be held responsible for this miscarriage of justice.”

For more information, call (914) 733-8080 or visit www.laurenpraysor.com.

 

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About Lauren P. Raysor

Lauren P. Raysor is an attorney concentrating in personal injury, civil rights, bankruptcy, matrimonial and family law. She has litigated numerous cases over the years, taking more than 35 cases to verdict and has argued before the Appellate Division in the case of Makeda Barnes Joseph v. Universal Music Group. She served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Mount Vernon, where she was in charge of the city’s Law Department. Ms. Raysor is currently outside counsel for the New York State Dormitory Authority, and served as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Upper Manhattan Region, outside counsel to the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and counsel at a Wall Street law firm.

MEDIA ADVISORY For Saturday, November 21, 2020: Lauren P. Raysor Files Complaint on Behalf of Mount Vernon Resident Who Was Falsely Arrested in Case of Mistaken Identity

Who:      Attorney Lauren P. Raysor, Esq., Principal, Lauren P. Raysor, Attorney at Law

Gordon Tarrant, Ms. Raysor’s client

Members of Mr. Tarrant’s family

 

What:     Lauren P. Raysor, Esq., Principal, Lauren P. Raysor, Attorney at Law, will hold a press conference to announce that she has filed a complaint on behalf of Gordon Tarrant, a Mount Vernon resident. The complaint alleges that Mr. Tarrant was falsely arrested in a case of mistaken identity, but was prosecuted anyway.

On the morning of April 26, 2018, Mr. Tarrant was in his Mount Vernon apartment when he heard a loud pounding at the door. He looked out the window and saw officers from the City of Mount Vernon and Westchester County Police Departments. They identified themselves as “parole, probation and pardon services,” although the Plaintiff was not on parole or probation. As he answered the door, officers threw him against the wall, handcuffed him and arrested him without a warrant.

After being searched twice, Mr. Tarrant was transported to the Mount Vernon Police Station and booked on charges of Bail Jumping in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. He spent seven hours in jail before appearing in court.

After his arrest, the Plaintiff received documentation about his arrest containing the wrong address and date of birth. Over the course of many years, Mr. Tarrant appeared in court approximately 20 times before the charges were dismissed.

The Plaintiff is seeking damages for violations of his civil and constitutional rights, physical and emotional pain and suffering and loss of liberty.

 

When:     Saturday, November 21, 2020

11 a.m.

 

Where:   Lauren P. Raysor, Attorney at Law

Roosevelt Professional Building, 11 West Prospect Avenue

Mount Vernon, NY

 

Directions: From I-95 N: Take Exit 9 to Hutchinson Pkwy N. Stay on Hutchinson Pkwy. N. and take Exit 12 toward East Lincoln Ave./Mount Vernon/Pelham. Turn left onto First Ave., then another left onto 84/Lincoln Ave. After 0.4 mile, take another left onto Darwood Pl. Go 0.2 mile, then go right onto E. Sidney Ave. Make a left onto Gramatan Ave., then a right onto W. Prospect Ave. Law office is on the right-hand side.

 

Photo Ops: Ms. Raysor joined by Mr. Tarrant and his family.

 

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About Lauren P. Raysor

Lauren P. Raysor is an attorney concentrating in personal injury, civil rights, bankruptcy, matrimonial and family law. She has litigated numerous cases over the years, taking more than 35 cases to verdict and has argued before the Appellate Division in the case of Makeda Barnes Joseph v. Universal Music Group. She served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Mount Vernon, where she was in charge of the city’s Law Department. Ms. Raysor is currently outside counsel for the New York State Dormitory Authority, and served as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Upper Manhattan Region, outside counsel to the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and counsel at a Wall Street law firm.

 

Lauren P. Raysor Announces Rally for Police Reform in Mount Vernon

MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK — Attorney Lauren P. Raysor has announced that a rally calling for the reform of the Mount Vernon Police Department will take place at the front steps of Mount Vernon City Hall, 1 Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon on Saturday, October 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Ms. Raysor, the former Mount Vernon City Attorney and Assistant New York State Attorney General, founded the Mount Vernon Coalition for Police Reform, a coalition of former police officers, civil rights attorneys, former city officials and other members of the community seeking ways to improve the practices of the Mount Vernon Police Department. Last month, she presented the group’s preliminary findings showing an overall distrust of its officers as a result of police violence and misconduct. The findings also list a series of recommendations to improve relations between police and the community.

Those in attendance will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“We have to let our elected officials know that there are systemic problems in the Mount Vernon Police Department,” Ms. Raysor said. “We are urging everyone to come out to the rally and make their voices heard. Our city officials must listen to the people and fix these problems that have plagued this department for far too long.”

For more information, call (914) 733-8080 or visit www.laurenpraysor.com.

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About Lauren P. Raysor

Lauren P. Raysor is an attorney concentrating in personal injury, civil rights, bankruptcy, matrimonial and family law. She has litigated numerous cases over the years, taking more than 35 cases to verdict and has argued before the Appellate Division in the case of Makeda Barnes Joseph v. Universal Music Group. She served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Mount Vernon, where she was in charge of the city’s Law Department. Ms. Raysor is currently outside counsel for the New York State Dormitory Authority, and served as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Upper Manhattan Region, outside counsel to the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and counsel at a Wall Street law firm.

Lauren P. Raysor Presents Preliminary Findings on Call for Reform of the Mount Vernon Police Department

MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK — On September 29, 2020, attorney Lauren P. Raysor presented a report on behalf of the Mount Vernon Coalition for Police Reform to the Mayor of Mount Vernon, members of the City Council and other elected officials. Ms. Raysor formed the Mount Vernon Coalition for Police Reform, a group of former police officers, civil rights attorneys, former City Officials and several others seeking ways to improve the practices of the Mount Vernon Police Department.

The report pointed out that there is a lack of trust in the police department. Citizens refuse to cooperate with the police during investigations, which explains how the city has the highest rate of unsolved homicides in Westchester County.

In its report, the Coalition made the following recommendations: the formation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board; requiring police officers to become more involved in the community, including living in the city where they work; statistical tracking of misconduct by officers based on race and gender; use of body and dashboard cameras; elimination of chokeholds, no-knock warrants and stop and frisk; review of police guidelines to ensure new rules and new compliance; more anti-bias and de-escalation training, including training to combat racial profiling; and using money from the police budget to pay out settlements from police misconduct lawsuits.

The Coalition also urges police officers to report a fellow officer who is engaged in a criminal act. Failure to do so would result in arrest. Citizens who use their cell phones to record instances of police misconduct would be provided whistleblower protection.

“In combating the systemic problems that are plaguing this police department, we are introducing some recommendations that are long overdue,” Ms. Raysor said. “I strongly urge the city council and the Mayor of Mount Vernon to review our findings and seriously consider implementing our recommendations.

For more information, call (914) 733-8080 or visit www.laurenpraysor.com.

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About Lauren P. Raysor

Lauren P. Raysor is an attorney concentrating in personal injury, civil rights, bankruptcy, matrimonial and family law. She has litigated numerous cases over the years, taking more than 35 cases to verdict and has argued before the Appellate Division in the case of Makeda Barnes Joseph v. Universal Music Group. She served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Mount Vernon, where she was in charge of the city’s Law Department. Ms. Raysor is currently outside counsel for the New York State Dormitory Authority, and served as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Upper Manhattan Region, outside counsel to the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and counsel at a Wall Street law firm.

 

Attorney Lauren P. Raysor Picks up Endorsement from CSEA in Her Campaign for Mount Vernon Public Library Trustee

MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK — Attorney Lauren P. Raysor has announced that she has been endorsed by the Civil Service Employees Association in her run for Trustee of the Mount Vernon Public Library along with Andrea Fobbs.

Ms. Raysor, who is running for one of two open seats along with Ms. Fobbs, has been a public servant throughout her career. During her legal career, she has taken more than 35 cases to verdict and has argued before the Appellate Division. In addition, she is the author of Living The Wealthy Life, which was dedicated to youth seeking positive direction.

“The Mount Vernon Library’s current board of trustees has created serious disruptions in library operations and services and undermined the morale of the staff,” said Gary Newman, the library’s Union President. “The CSEA has endorsed Lauren Raysor for Trustee, along with Andrea Fobbs, because they believe they are best equipped to restore the library’s primary commitment to the community.”

“The decision to endorse Lauren and Andrea was an easy one,” said Anthony Adamo, CSEA Southern Region President. “We look forward to working with both once they’re elected as partners, to ensure the library remains a gem for our Mount Vernon residents.”

“I wish to thank CSEA for their support in my race for Library Trustee,” Ms. Raysor said. “This is a very important endorsement. I am very proud to serve the community and I ask for your vote as Trustee.”

Ms. Fobbs is running on Row 1B and Ms. Raysor on Row 5B. Voting will take place by absentee ballot only by June 9, 2020 at 5 p.m.

For more information, call (914) 733-8080 or visit www.laurenpraysor.com.

Attorney Lauren P. Raysor Files Notice of Claim Seeking $1.5 Million in Damages for Bakery Owners after Mount Vernon Mayor Orders Shop to be Shut Down

Claim Says Closure Was Motivated by Retaliation, Cites Harm to Reputation, Emotional Distress, and Loss of Business

MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK — On September 28, 2018, Attorney Lauren P. Raysor was joined by attorney Pamela D. Hayes in announcing they filed a Notice of Claim at Mount Vernon City Court on behalf of M. Miesha Stokely and Montika Jones, Co-Owners, Cupcake Cutie Boutique. The Plaintiffs are seeking $1.5 million in damages for harm to the bakery’s reputation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of business.

The Notice of Claim states that Richard Thomas, Mayor, City of Mount Vernon, engaged in a pattern of harassment by using city employees to harass and intimidate Ms. Stokely and Ms. Jones because of their relationship to Damon Jones, Publisher/Owner of Black Westchesternewspaper and a vocal critic of the mayor and his administration. Mr. Jones is Ms. Jones’ husband and Ms. Stokely’s stepfather.

Ms. Jones, who is also a Detective with the City of Mount Vernon Police Department, has been the subject of alleged harassment under Mayor Thomas’ administration.

On August 1, 2015, Cupcake Cutie Boutique, Inc., which is located at 8 South 6thAvenue in Mount Vernon, New York, signed a leasing agreement. Two months later, the shop applied for a Certificate of Tenancy with the City of Mount Vernon. The city granted a temporary Certificate of Tenancy and continued to operate without interruption.

On July 2018, the landlord submitted a report of Test and Maintenance of the Backflow Prevention Device to the City’s Water Department. Once the report was received, the Building Department refused to issue a permanent Certificate of Tenancy to Cupcake Cutie Boutique. On August 3, 2018, Mayor Thomas ordered Cupcake Cutie Boutique to be closed downwithout notice, without a violation, and without due process. Three days later, the owners requested and received a new Temporary Certificate of Tenancy from the Building Department.

Ms. Stokely and Ms. Jones claimed that the Mayor and the Building Department caused irreparable harm to the establishment and its reputation by stating the store was unsafe and a detriment to the public.

In addition to Mayor Thomas and the City of Mount Vernon, the following have been named as Defendants; the Building Department and Commissioners Daniel P. Jones and Guy Lorrius; the Mount Vernon Police Department and Deputy Commissioner Joseph Spiezio.

“As a husband, father and business owner, it is unacceptable to have my family and our businesses personally and politically retaliated against for my speaking Truth to Power on local Mount Vernon issues,” Mr. Jones said.

“Mayor Thomas and his administration’s corruption know no limits or boundaries,” Ms. Stokely said. “With the filing of this notice of claim, I have taken steps to protect my business, preserve my integrity, and clear my name. As a business owner and native of Mount Vernon, these unlawful actions of retaliation taken against me by Mayor Thomas are disheartening. Today is the day that we say NO to Mayor Thomas and his corruption. As a community mentor of the youth and an advocate for small women-owned businesses, I stand today representing all honest and hardworking business owners. This travesty is trying to ruin my reputation and my business, but I will not stand down.”

“What Mayor Thomas and the city administrators did to my clients was an absolute abuse of power,” Ms. Raysor said. “They used their positions in government to silence a dissenting voice and attempt to force a local business to close its doors for good. This is not the way local government should act.”

For more information, call (914) 733-8080 or visit www.laurenpraysor.com.