How about a mystery involving questionable FBI activities and a radical mosque in Harlem? Sounds like typical news fare for 2018. However, this particular mystery occurred four decades ago, and we aren’t going to let it go.
We have sued the U.S. Department of Justice Justice, as well as the City of New York and the New York Police Department (NYPD), to compel them to release information regarding the April 14, 1972, murder of police officer Phillip Cardillo at a mosque in Harlem. Cardillo was killed while responding to a fake "10-13"officer in distress phone call.
We filed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice after it failed to adequately search for records responsive to our May 15 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-024687)).
We are seeking: "All records concerning the Nation of Islam Mosque #7 in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, or the building located at 102 West 116th Street. This request includes, but is not limited to, all informant, wiretap, electronic surveillance, and physical surveillance records relevant to the Nation of Islam Mosque #7, located at 102 West 116th Street, in New York City."
We also sued New York City and the NYPD after they failed to respond to our June 5 Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests (Judicial Watch v. The City of New York and the New York City Police Department (No. 0160286/2017)). Here we seek:
- The audio tape of the 10-13 "officer in distress" call recorded by the Police Communications Division at 11:41 a.m. on April 14, 1972; and
- The Major Case Squad report and files on the homicide of NYPD Patrolman Philip Cardillo.
In our complaint we note that, "[NY City and NYPD] have yet to provide one responsive document and only have provided conclusory, unsubstantiated, non-specific bases for denial by an individual with no personal knowledge of the underlying investigation."
We dispute the claim made by New York City and the NYPD that the case is ongoing.
A New York Post article of April 19, 2015, "Did an FBI call accidentally kill an NYPD officer?" written by Judicial Watch Chief Investigative Reporter Micah Morrison, details Officer Cardillo’s murder:
"A 10-13 is every cop’s worst nightmare, a red alert meaning 'officer in distress.'
"Two policemen, Phillip Cardillo and Vito Navarra, rushed to the address, which was the Muhammed Mosque #7 of the Nation of Islam. Its leader, Louis Farrakhan, had offices on the third floor.
"The mosque doors, usually bolted shut and manned by the Nation of Islam’s own paramilitary force, the Fruit of Islam, were unlocked and unguarded.
"In the reception area, Cardillo and Navarra encountered six men. Navarra darted up the stairs. Somewhere up on the second floor, he believed, a brother officer was in serious trouble. He was met by 10 men who forced him back down the stairs.
"Nine more cops rushed into the reception area. A fight broke out."
Cardillo died from his injuries six days after the fake 10-13 call. A suspect was tried twice but not convicted. The NYPD’s Major Case Squad reopened the investigation in 2006.
Officer Cardillo’s murder, over 40 years ago, is relevant today. We need to completely clear this case to properly honor a fallen hero. There should be no informal statute of limitations on the death of one of New York’s finest."
Additional details on this story are available here and here. New York attorney Ethan Leonard from the Law Offices of Neal Brickman P.C. is representing Judicial Watch.
It's shameful that we are being stonewalled by law enforcement bureaucracies on this murder. Rank-and-file NYPD officers want answers, too.
Tom Fitton is the president of Judicial Watch. He is a nationally recognized expert on government corruption. A former talk radio and television host and analyst, Tom is well known across the country as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in Time, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and most every other major newspaper in the country. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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