Police

'I Can Never Have Faith in Justice in This Country Again'

|

The New York Times tells the story of Queens restaurateur Seemona Sumasar, who spent seven months in jail after being framed by her vengeful former boyfriend for a series of armed robberies that never happened. While police and prosecutors portray the ex-boyfriend as a criminal mastermind, Sumasar says the authorities were negligent:

When she insisted to the authorities that he had set her up, they belittled her claims….

"Why would a tiny woman with no criminal record, who worked 10 years on Wall Street, randomly hold up people at gunpoint at night dressed as a policewoman?" [Sumasar's lawyer] asked….

Sumasar had a strong alibi, including cell phone records showing that calls were made from her phone at a casino in Connecticut on the day of the [imaginary] robbery….

Prosecutors said the scheme unraveled in December 2010—just weeks before Ms. Sumasar was to go on trial—when an informer told the police that Mr. Ramrattan [the ex-boyfriend] had staged the plot. The informer gave detectives a number for a cellphone owned by Mr. Ramrattan.

When they checked phone records, they discovered multiple calls to the false witnesses, who confessed to the police. They were charged with perjury….

"From the beginning I was presumed guilty—not innocent," she said. "I felt like I never had a chance."

"I can never have faith in justice in this country again."

Sumasar, who was separated from her 12-year-old daughter and lost her house and her restaurant franchise while she was locked up, plans to sue the police departments in New York City and in Nassau County, where one of the fictitious robberies supposedly occurred. 

NEXT: The Coming Autopocalypse

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Who cares about minor details like “justice” when you’ve got an ambitious political career ahead of you??

  2. Here is a better question, how did a women with a school age child and a business not get an ROR or low bail? WTF?

    1. This, and why don’t they show a better angle where we can see some titties? For great justice.

      1. Yeah. I have a thing for the Indian women. She is very hot.

        1. Agreed.

        2. My cousin married a nice Indian girl. While she is attractive, her cousin is a goddess.

          Unfortunately, 1) she is very aware of it, and 2) I’m not rich.

          1. One word BP, “Bollywood”. OMFG are the women in those films hot.

        3. I’m so glad I was able to scratch that one off the list, having an Indian girlfriend, that is. It was glorious.

          1. When you are that hot, you don’t need no stinkin alt-text.

        4. some are hot. most are not. I used to bang this Indian girl in Chicago. Neethu Kottukapally. She would tell her parents she was “studying” HAHAHA.

      2. She is pretty hot… for a brown chic…

        /racist

        1. Who can know why the Right doesn’t attract more support from the Indian community with gems like this?

          1. Progressives tend to be the far more racist of folks. Racism being first and foremost defined as state action based on race. Thus, affirmative action and eugenics, propositions championed by progressives, comes to mind.

            As does Acorn / Obama / Rev. Wright / Ted Kenedy / Bobby Byrd / ELanor Holmes Norton / Jesse Jackson / Al Sharpton / Harry Reid / black folks who voted for Obama cuz he’s black / Nelson Mandela / African National Congress / Robert Mugabe.

            If you support affirmative action, you are a racist statist. If you support minority set asides, you are a racist statist. If you support the coerced measurement and record keeping of skin color, you are a racist statist.

          2. Yeah, when I saw the picture, I realized the content was doomed. The mouthbreathers would be out in force. Sure, enough, only 3 comments in and we have to watch some cretin masturbate to the photo. Hey Reason, why didn’t you show any hot corpses at the Norway shooting. It would bring out the best!

    2. Charged with multiple violent felonies?

      Possibly has family overseas?

      1. If that were definitive, no Mexican charged with a violent felony would ever get bail. The fact she had a business and a kid tied her to the community enough to grant her reasonable bail.

      2. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty is vitiated by refusing to release those accused prior to conviction.

        Libertarianism is incompatible with pre-trial detention. Period.

  3. I happened.

  4. As long as no police officer or prosecutor can personally be held accountable – professionally, criminally or civilly – this kind of thing will continue.

    1. Sadly, this is dead on accurate.

    2. Also, our system is ripe for framing, since the police and prosecutors tend to be interested in numbers, and not justice. Line an easy one up for them–even if framed–and they’ll jump all over it.

      1. The only way to do your job is to convict people. Facts just get in the way.

        1. There can be no rule of law where the king is the sole arbiter of the same.

          AH, but we have the best system of justice in the world chants the slaver!

          1. Best that is ain’t the same as best that’s possible.

  5. No doubt about it dude, the legal system is a joke.

    http://www.web-privacy.au.tc

  6. She’s brown. Of course she’s guilty. Sure, she’s probably Indian, but she looks like a Muslim, which means she could be a terrorist.

    1. You do realize that Indian and Muslim are not mutually exclusive?

  7. Fuck the NYPD and NY in general! I hope she gets it all!

  8. I hope she wins, and wins big. Good luck, Seemona.

  9. The crime here is the lack of bail. I can understand why the police charged her. The guy did do a pretty good job of framing her. If they had granted her bail, she would have suffered a lot less harm. Why did she not get bail?

    1. Uh, she placed a cellphone call from Connecticut when she was ostensibly robbing somebody. I’d say that’s a good reason to refuse to charge her.

      1. No. her cellphone was used to place a call in Connecticut. That doesn’t mean she is the one who made the call. That is hardly an ironclad alibi. So me a security film of her there or a credit card receipt and then we are talking. But the call is not definitive.

        1. Given that it’s a casino, I find it hard to believe there isn’t video of her there too.

          1. Doubt the defense team could get that together before the bail hearing.

            1. Maybe the fucking prosecutors could be bothered to check on her alibi?

              1. Right. You probably believe balanced budgets are possible, too.

              2. Detectives check alibis, especially in the preliminary stages.

          2. You mean something like this?

        2. Also, if you read the entire article it says that during one robbery she was driving to Florida and came back the day after the robbery. She was down there to transfer the title of a car supposedly used in the robbery. The cops said that she was covering her tracks.

          If someone could drive to Florida, transfer a title, drive back, all in less than 24 hours with no evidence that they were gone I would have to rethink my atheism.

          I think her high bail was set because the prosecutor made it seem like all of this exonerating evidence was actually her wiliness and guile; making her seem like a threat to run.

          1. The strength of her case should have figured into the amount of her bail. If the magistrate had had his head out of his ass and done his job, he would have realized this women stood a good chance of winning at trial and was thus unlikely to flee.

          2. Perhaps she gave herself away and showed guilt by acting persuasive and logical.

            1. +Stanford

          3. So the less evidence the state has to convict you of a crime, the more it proves what a mastermind you are? Genius!

      2. The finally did drop the case before trial. That is a good thing. If they had given her bail, this case would not even be a story.

        1. The finally did drop the case before trial. That is a good thing.

          No, there’s nothing good about her losing her business and livelihood all because the authorities were negligent in their investigation.

    2. The ultimate sin, she was accused as dressing as a cop.

      1. You know who else was accused as dressing as a cop…

        1. Stalin’s bastard son in Children of the Revolution?

  10. And nothing else happened.

  11. that’s some fine police work, Lou

    1. Hey, investigating stuff is hard, and detectives like to play Angry Birds too…

  12. This is what happens when “justice” rests in the hands of lawyers who are in it for the W.

  13. I read that story this morning

    For some reason my libertarian indignation was not immediately inflamed… so much as, ‘man, some people really shouldn’t be in relationships’

    Boyfriend?–>Accused Rapist/Perjurer—>Girlfriend?—>Framed as Thief

    I mean, my own breakups seem a lot better in retrospect.

    1. That’s because you were only accused of physical abuse and not rape. You never should have dated Warty, dude. I warned you, but you wouldn’t listen. Well, you got what you deserved.

      1. It’s not dating when you keep them chained up in a box in your basement. That doesnt count.

        1. Is that where Warty kept you? I’m sorry, dude, but like I said: I warned you.

      2. The fact that Warty kept the cat box on the kitchen table should have been his first clue.

      3. “Call me old-fashioned, but I like a dump to be as memorable as it is devastating.”

  14. So … libertarianism happened to her?

  15. Was this an arranged boyfriend?

    1. More like an arraignment boyfriend.

      1. “arraigned boyfriend” would have been better

      2. Big swiiiing and a miss! That pitch was left hung out over the plate but WarrenT couldn’t catch up with it and goes down swinging!

    2. We’ve already discussed not putting it in the crazy today, but this case is a good example of why one shouldn’t wrap it around the crazy either.

      1. Nah, better to listen to Helen Reddy, “its so nice to be insane, nobody ever asks you to explain.”

  16. So if you’re mugged by the state itself instead of by a crook, I imagine that would pretty much turn you into a libertarian.

    1. stockholm syndrome

      1. As in Stockholm, Sweden…

  17. In cases like these, we can nevertheless take some comfort from the fact that while some things did happen, it is also true that nothing else happened.

  18. Justice does not flow from nation statehood. Just the whip and chains.

    Since 1860, the nation state has mass murdered hundreds of millions. Great record upon which to tout “safety” and “order” and “peace”

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    1. Why pick 1860?

      1. The Anglo-French forces resuming hostilities in China-the opium wars.

        Sure, one could use 1861 as the starting point.

        1. But, there’s no doubt that, in discussing mass murder, the conversation must be almost exclusively a discussion about the state and the death and destruction it has wrought. To the extent that the narrative focuses upon the Son of Sam or Whitey Bulger or Orenthal James Simpson, the narrative is warped.

          1. However, if the discussion regards the best single season a running back has ever had in NFL history, Orenthal James Simpson most certainly should form a large part of that narrative cause while Miami has the oranges, OJ haD the JUICE!

  19. Why don’t beautiful women dressed as police rob and abuse me?

    1. You aren’t paying enough? There’s usually an extra charge for that sort of thing.

      Umm, I’m told.

  20. What some may be forgetting is that government hacks, whether they are police, lawyers, DMV workers, or whatever, just aren’t that intelligent or hardworking. They’d be in the private sector if they were. Sometimes it’s malice, sometimes it’s laziness, most of the time it’s basic stupidity.

  21. I notice little outrage directed at the person who actually committed the crime.

    1. Do you mean the cops or the prosecutor?

      1. The ex-boyfriend, dipshit.

    2. How about no outrage? The cops, the prosecutors have committed the real crime here. We’re not talking about some kind of assault here or damage to property, so the boyfriend’s actions alone would’ve had no effect at all, and are meaningless on their own, if it weren’t for the fucking cops/prosecutor/people in the system.

      1. (clarifying) referring to act of framing her using cops, rather than his past actions of course

  22. I once saw a demonstration on how to replace license tag numbers on viewed robbery reports.

    Every armed robbery viewed that had a getaway vehicle reported had my cousins tag number for 5 minutes. But it only applied to reports being viewed in that particular office( which will remain nameless ). It didn’t alter the actual records, just displayed my cousins tag number. A print of the records would have the actual tag number reported. Oh a screen print would have had my cousins tag number on it, but the records themselves were not altered.

    Good times in a small town sheriff’s office.

    1. By good times, do you mean some pigs were slaughtered?

  23. I think her daughter should sue as well.

  24. Cap l noted this earlier, but I think it bears repeating, that

    Nothing Else Happened.

    There is that.

  25. I’m sure it wasn’t malicious. The police detectives just need a better checklist:
    [ ] 1. Did alleged crime actually occur?

    1. and the local police department claim that the officers handled the situation according to department policy.

  26. From linked article:

    She once paid for purchases with cash but now uses only credit cards, so there is a paper trail attesting to her whereabouts.

    Yet another story extolling the virtues of big brother tracking our every move.

  27. Wait a minute. In most other places — not all, most — she would probably have been convicted, too. Or languished for seven years, not months. I have little respect for cops (90% of ’em) but “the system” seems to have worked, albeit slowly. She’s out, right? She has no reason not to trust “justice” — but like the rest of us, she has no reason to trust cops.

    1. I dunno, erikjay. I have a hard time saying that jailing a woman, separating her from her kid, wrecking yer life, etc., when a modicum of police work would have shown she was innocent, is an example of the system working.

    2. 3.2 Scapegoating
       When a criminal commits a crime, blame the cops first.

      1. What crime? Providing a false police report and multiple false witness statements? The fact that all these people knew each other wasn’t a red flag?

      2. It’s been said before but bears repeating here: If she had gotten bail, this is a non story that no one cares about. Instead, victim spends 7 months incarcerated not by the criminal but by the criminal justice system. An excessive and unnecessary act guaranteed to wreak havoc on any ordinary persons affairs.

        But you go ahead and ignore the states complicity in the criminals scheme to wreak vengeance on an ex.

      3. 3.3 Idiot Trolls
        When the cops carry out the machinations of a criminal, then they’re actually blameworthy.

  28. I suppose this is what happens when abusive CSI junkies do all the police work for the actual police, providing a wealth of (hearsay) evidence that fits so nicely together that coalesces into a slam-dunk case. What employee of the NYPD would pursue an open rape case when everything clearly leads back to Samasar? Leave the “innocent until proven guilty” bit to the judge and the jury.

    The NYT article quotes police and prosecutor representatives as saying this amateur charlatan was some kind of mastermind. But maybe the justice system is just lazy and incompetent?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.co…..r-robbery/

  29. Compelling govt interest and absolute prosecutorial immunity will nix her claims. All she’ll get is an insincere apology.

  30. That’s a problem not in your country but worldwide. Verybody worries about his/her health because of the foods

  31. Well atleast she knows what it is like to be an average American male…

  32. yea…then go back to India and believe in their justice system. HAHAHA!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.