Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of New York City Police Officer JONATHAN MUNOZ, 33, for unlawfully arresting a man and illegally searching a woman in Washington Heights, in addition to filing falsified documents with the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to conceal the circumstances of the man’s arrest. A New York State Supreme Court jury found the defendant guilty of all of the counts in the indictment against him: two counts each of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Official Misconduct, as well as one count of Making a Punishable False Written Statement. MUNOZ is expected to be sentenced on May 9, 2017.
“Police officers have one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the world, and they are tasked with carrying out their sworn duty to protect with the utmost honesty and integrity,” said District Attorney Vance. “These tenets are critical to maintaining public confidence in law enforcement authorities and our criminal justice system as a whole. I thank the prosecutors in my Office’s Public Corruption Unit and our partners in the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau for their work on this case.”
As proven at trial, on March 12, 2014, MUNOZ, a member of the NYPD since 2006, arrested a 21-year-old man near the corner of West 183rd Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue while on patrol in the 34th Precinct. MUNOZ claimed to both his NYPD supervisors and the Assistant District Attorneys screening the case that he arrested the man for interfering in the search and investigation of a 20-year-old woman whom he suspected of purchasing marijuana. MUNOZ claimed in statements, as well as in paperwork filed with both the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, that the man entered a “fighting stance,” before lunging and swinging a fist at him.
However, surveillance video subsequently obtained from the arrest location revealed that not only had the man not engaged in those actions, but that MUNOZ had unlawfully searched the woman as she stood on the sidewalk. Due to MUNOZ’s conduct, the underlying criminal case was dismissed.
Assistant District Attorneys Julio Cuevas, Jr., Deputy Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, and Emily Farber handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Luke Rettler, Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Investigative Analyst Jennifer Katz and Senior Rackets Investigator Edward Johnson assisted with the investigation under the supervision of Supervising Rackets Investigator Alexander Farrugia and Chief Investigator Walter Alexander.
District Attorney Vance thanked the detectives of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau for their assistance with this investigation.
JONATHAN MUNOZ, D.O.B. 11/24/1983
• Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, two counts
• Official Misconduct, a class A misdemeanor, two counts
• Making a Punishable False Written Statement, a class A misdemeanor, one count