Brooklyn Judge Ruth Shillingford has a history of coddling criminals and letting their law-abiding victims forever thirst for justice.
The latest example came March 11, when a teenaged gang-banger walked free after just 14 months behind bars. His victim, NYPD Detective Dalsh Veve, will never walk again.
I have almost 37 years in this Police Department and this is one of the most horrifying situations I’ve come across. This judge had the discretion to sentence Justin Murrell to 10 years after a jury convicted him of first-degree assault charges. She chose to give him the shortest possible time behind bars.
Murrell was 15 when he encountered Veve in 2017 in East Flatbush as the Haitian-born detective responded to a call of “shots fired.” The reputed Crips member with a long rap sheet jumped into a stolen car and fled, dragging the dedicated detective for blocks, leaving him with catastrophic injuries.
While Murrell is back home with his family after Shillingford’s slap on the wrist, Veve, 38, was given a life sentence: He is in a wheelchair and needs around-the-clock care.
Shillingford — who serves in Brooklyn Criminal Court and has been on the bench since 2003 — has done this before.
In January, she vacated the 1993 murder conviction of Emmanuelle Cooper for the death of an MTA employee in East New York during a robbery. The Brooklyn DA is retrying the case against Cooper.
Just a few months earlier, Shillingford threw out evidence in the case against a mugger who punched a 15-year-old girl in the face and robbed her bag and cellphone, even though the victim identified the culprit and probable cause clearly existed for the arrest.
In other cases, she has suppressed and thrown out evidence, including narcotics and firearms recovered from defendants.
Detectives were shocked to see how Judge Shillingford could serve up such a light sentence to Murrell when Detective Veve sat in his wheelchair, unable to speak for himself, just feet from her bench.
Veve and his wife, Esther, a nurse, bought a house and have a beautiful young daughter. But their American dream has turned into an American nightmare.
Although Shillingford’s soft-on-crime agenda failed to provide justice for Detective Veve, I can guarantee the Detectives’ Endowment Association and every other member of the NYPD will forever support our hero and his family.
Paul DiGiacomo is a 36-year veteran of the NYPD and the president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association.
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