Minding his business: Nuridden Rashed’s
store 16 Barz.
Avenue business owners are left shocked and angered after
a local man is violently arrested by an Albany police officer
Rashed stood in front of an Albany Police Department car in
the middle of Central Avenue in Albany near Bricks Barbershop
on Jan. 6, around 2 PM. Officer Mike Geraci hopped into his
police cruiser and took his foot off the brake. The car rolled
toward Rashed. Bystanders who had gathered on both sides of
the street, drawn by the men’s shouting, gasped. Rashed looked
shocked. His eyes widened in apparent disbelief. Geraci quickly
put his foot back on the break. “Get the fuck out of the street!”
Geraci shouted before loudly sounding his vehicle’s horn.
Shopkeepers and pedestrians, who had been paying slight attention
before, were now transfixed. They wore expressions of bewilderment.
A reporter from Metroland witnessed the scene as it
continued to escalate.
Angered that Geraci rolled his car toward him, Rashed lashed
out, “Fucking pigs!” Geraci and two other officers who had
arrived on the scene rushed toward Rashed, forced him up against
the window of his own store, 16 Barz, and handcuffed him.
Rashed repeatedly asked what he was being charged with. No
were trying to put me through the glass!” Rashed later claimed.
This was not what Rashed expected when he asked a parking
enforcement officer to call her supervisor when she tried
to ticket him for being double-parked in front of his business.
As far as Rashed understood it, business owners are allowed
to double park in front of their businesses for 15 minutes
to load and unload vehicles.
Only minutes later, Geraci stopped his cruiser and jumped
out of his car. Rashed said he tried to talk to Geraci, but
was told, “Get away from my car.” Geraci conversed with the
parking employee instead, and then Geraci told Rashed to “stop
intimidating” her. Rashed then asked Geraci what the law was
pertaining to the situation. Geraci told him to “take your
ass down [to traffic safety]” to ask them, before jumping
in his cruiser.
Spectators from Bricks Barber Shop grew increasingly concerned,
as the officers became more hostile. Deryl McCray, a co-owner
of the barber shop, watched along with a number of barbers
They watched as Rashed’s wife, Courtney Dayton, tried to take
the keys to Rashed’s business out of his hands so she could
lock the store.
up!” a spectator shouted as the police shoved her away, shouting,
“Back the fuck up!”
One man held up his camera to film the incident. “Put that
fucking camera down!” shouted an officer. “Get off the fucking
sidewalk,” Geraci yelled.
McCray told the officer, “I know my rights. This is my business.
I can be on the sidewalk in front of my business.”
don’t care what you know!” Geraci responded.
McCray demanded Geraci’s badge number. He said that Geraci
provided it, but said to him, “You sure you can spell? You
don’t look like you can spell.”
McCray was asked repeatedly if he was “a tough guy.” Barber
Henry Grant was told by an officer, “Get your 500-pound ass
One spectator openly wondered what might have occurred had
the incident not taken place in daylight.
McCray has filed a complaint with the APDs internal-affairs
office about the incident. McCray said he and Rashed actually
had worked together in the past to improve community relations
with the Albany Police Department. Both men had previously
met with Chief James Tuffey to work on preventing youth gang
appreciate the presence of the APD,” said McCray. “I don’t
want to start a beef with the APD. They do a good job, but
they have some bad apples.”
McCray said that actions of Geraci—what he calls Geraci’s
lack of respect—hurts relations between the APD and the community.
am willing to do whatever it takes to improve relations between
the police department and the community,” said McCray. “I
am willing to be a conduit between the APD and the community.”
McCray said he hopes that by reporting the incident, he may
be able to work with the APD to achieve a better relationship.
Rashed eventually was charged with two counts of resisting
arrest and one charge of disorderly conduct. He was released
after paying $700 bail.
The charges allege that Rashed called the officers “white
racist pigs.” Rashed denied the “white racist” part. He said
he knows it was stupid to call the officers “pigs,” but that
it was his way of reacting to being treated the way he was.
The charges also allege Rashed “struggled” with officers.
Rashed and a number of bystanders who witnessed the event
disagree. Rashed said he told the officers he was holding
his cell phone and keys to his store and wanted someone to
take them from him rather than having to drop them.
The APD did not comment other than to confirm Rashed’s charges.
Rashed said APD officers frequent his shop, and he is friendly
with a number of them. Rashed, who has hosted gang prevention
get-togethers for youth from uptown and downtown in his shop,
said he is torn about whether to stay in Albany to continue
that work—work that got him a meeting with Tuffey—or to just
move. However, Rashed planned to file a complaint with internal
affairs and perhaps the Albany Citizen’s Police Review Board.
He said he would like an apology from the officers, despite
his fear that filing a complaint will attract more negative
attention from the APD.
starting to freak out,” he said. “I don’t want to live in
fear in Albany.”
of the teenager accused of shooting the bullet
that struck and killed 10-year-old Kathina Thomas
morphed this week. Lacking possession of the alleged
murder weapon, the prosecution’s case against
Jermayne Timmons hinged significantly upon the
testimony of eyewitnesses. One key witness, whose
name has been withheld in accordance with the
Albany County district attorney’s request, recanted
the statement he made in May that he saw Timmons
shoot “up First Street,” now claiming that he
only said that because his father told him to.
However, Timmons had admitted on the stand that
he did shoot a gun that day, just not the caliber
of gun involved in Thomas’ death. The judge, in
response, allowed the prosecution to include an
attempted murder charge for the jury to consider.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the jury was still
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
sent Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian a letter asking
for its money back. According to a Record article,
based on information received from a Freedom of
Information request, HUD took issue with Troy’s
use of funds awarded through Community Development
Block Grants, and now is seeking nearly $470,000
in refunds. The letter stated that “the city must
reimburse its CDBG account with $152,172 for ineligible
street improvement costs and $125,615 for unsupported
housing rehabilitation expenses, in addition to
other, smaller projects, because the city either
did not provide HUD with adequate documentation
or did not follow established guidelines.” Deputy
Mayor Dan Crawley tried to assure the Record
that this would have little noticeable impact
on the city’s budget. “Hopefully we’re running
way in the black for 2009, so it really won’t
have an affect on the taxpayers at all,” said
Us if You’ve Heard This One
off-duty Albany police officer allegedly crashed
into a parked car over the weekend and then left
the scene of the crime. When the police went to
the home of Det. George McNally, he refused to
take a Breathalyzer and was arrested. Albany Police
Chief James Tuffey was reported as saying, “I
am extremely disappointed with the arrest of one
of our members for allegedly being involved in
a alcohol-related accident,” which made it sound
like the chief was more upset with the arrest
then the actual alleged crime. McNally has joined
a long list of Albany cops who have gotten into
trouble with drinking and driving.
loose ends this week-