Two NYPD officers were forced to retire after the department discovered they lied about investigating cases, including domestic violence and drug complaints, department documents say.
Officer Eric Cabrera was assigned to the 113th Precinct in Jamaica when he improperly closed 25 investigations in 2019 — including numerous domestic violence cases — by making false entries in the department’s case monitoring system, which tracks investigative steps.
The NYPD says Cabrera closed without due diligence harassment cases where a suspect texted the victim, “I’m going to kill you;” and where another suspect sent threatening messages saying she would “come for the victim and burn her house and car.”
Cabrera was also accused of improperly closing an identity theft case where the suspect used the victim’s date of birth and Social Security number to get an apartment in Georgia and open a cellphone account; an incident where a tenant shoved her landlord and threw garbage on his car; and the theft of 10 bags of potato chips from a car which also had its rear passenger windows broken.
Cabrera testified at his department trial he was overworked and going though a divorce when he closed the cases. At a hearing, Cabrera said he “was being assigned 300 cases a year and I was being harassed by the lieutenant to get the cases closed on time.”
He went on to say the long hours he was working led to the end of his marriage, the decision said. Depressed and anxious, Cabrera said he decided to prioritize more serious cases over minor cases.
Cabrera “made false and misleading statements” in marking cases closed when he had not done the actual investigation, the decision said.
“Officers who intentionally make false representations betray an essential function of police work and risk the reputations of fellow officers,” wrote Josh Kleiman, an NYPD assistant deputy commissioner of trials.
Kleiman noted that Cabrera should be allowed to keep his pension because he had an otherwise spotless disciplinary record and had received high work evaluations in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell signed off on the penalty on Sept. 21. Cabrera also lost 30 vacation days and agreed not to sue to get his job back.
Failing to properly investigate family or domestic violence cases — as Cabrera was accused of doing — endangers victims, said Casey Gwinn, president of Alliance for Hope International, an anti-domestic violence organization.
“When victims get treated like that by law enforcement, the message they get is ‘Don’t call us’,” Gwinn said. “And then, of course, violence escalates over time when you fail to intervene effectively.”
A second cop, Detective Thomas Mannion, was caught falsifying entries 11 times in NYPD records in 2020. While assigned to Brooklyn North Narcotics, Mannion claimed in investigative memos that he visited places where drug activity was reported, when he never actually did.
“[Mannion] did not visit the location even though he submitted reports that claimed he had done so,” wrote Jeff Adler, an NYPD assistant deputy commissioner of trials.
The detective’s misconduct was discovered when investigators compared his entries with GPS data from his NYPD vehicle.
Like the Cabrera case, Mannion also forfeited 30 vacation days and was forced to retire, the decision in his case says.
Mannion blamed his actions on stress caused by staffing shortages in his command from the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
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“The demands of the job became ‘overwhelming.’ His wife was pregnant at the time, adding to the pressures he faced,” the decision said.
Mannion insisted the “mistakes” were “cut and paste errors, just rushing through things to try to get things done,” the decision read.
District attorneys in Queens and Brooklyn declined to pursue charges against Cabrera and Mannion, police said.
The Cabrera and Mannion cases are reminiscent of former NYPD Detective Thomas Rice, who the Daily News in 2018 dubbed “Detective Do-Little.” At the time, police officials said they were looking into whether other detectives had committed similar misconduct.
Rice, while working in the 106th detective squad in Ozone Park, Queens, was caught making up more than 100 fake witnesses and bogus addresses to close at least 22 grand larceny cases. He was demoted to police officer, lost 60 vacation days and was forced to retire in May 2018.
In June 2018, he pleaded guilty to official misconduct in criminal court in Queens. He was sentenced to a conditional discharge, and waived his right to appeal.
With Emma Seiwell