|By PR Newswire||
|January 10, 2014 09:28 AM EST||
NEW YORK, Jan. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Certainly, a hot button issue in New York City has been, and will remain, any news connected to the 9/11 attacks. News that might relate to the first-responders involved in 9/11 and its aftermath, particularly allegations that implicate police or fire-fighters as exploiting or profiting from the 9/11 tragedy are exactly the kind of story that pushes its way onto the front page of the paper or lead story on a cable-news show. It is no surprise, therefore, that after District Attorney Cyrus Vance issued a press release on January 7, 2014, indicating that 80 of 106 defendants indicted in an alleged Social Security fraud scheme, were retired New York Police and Firefighters fraudulently claiming disability due to injuries suffered on 9/11, that the headline in the New York Post read "9/11 SCAM SCUM."
While the press is perpetually eager to report a seemingly "juicy" story, what is both surprising and disturbing is the manner in which this has been handled by the New York County District Attorney's Office. It is nothing new that a prosecutor's office conducts an investigation, gathers confidential sources and informants, sets up sting operations and ultimately indicts multiple defendants on significant and serious charges. It is also not unusual for a prosecutor's office to issue press releases informing the public of its efforts. What is unusual in this case, however, was the specific information contained in the press release and the manner in which the information was framed. In many ways, the press release seemed designed to create news that would incite the press and create exactly the sort of media frenzy that has resulted.
It cannot be overlooked that New York City is literally days into a new administration with a new mayor and new police chief. It cannot be a coincidence that Police Chief Bratton is quoted in just the third paragraph of the press release and made statements in both the Daily News and New York Post. I would even hazard a guess that the timing of these arrests purposely occurred to parallel the incoming administration. Furthermore, despite the fact that almost 20 percent of the alleged defendants are classified as "other" than police-officers or fire-fighters, and that "among the indicted applicants, [Social Security Disability Insurance] awards have been paid since as far back as 1988," years before 9/11, the tenor of the press release, statements made by the District Attorney and Police Chief, and the resultant media coverage is particularly geared to a sensationalized slant regarding these defendants. For example Chief Bratton vilified the defendants as having "disgraced all first responders who perished during the search and rescue efforts on September 11, 2001, and those who subsequently died from 9/11 related illness, by exploiting their involvements that tragic day for personal gain."
Perhaps the most egregious and outrageous choice that the District Attorney made was to list publically the names, addresses and dates of birth of all the defendants. It was expected that this windfall of information would lead to journalists finding and publishing pictures of some of these defendants playing golf, fishing or jet skiing. While these pictures can inflame the passions of the public, and potentially taint a jury-pool, in and of themselves, photographs do no "win" the case for the District Attorney. One thing is clear, it is not mutually exclusive to be physically or mentally disabled and still be able to have a modicum of enjoyment in life – and have a picture taken of that enjoyment to boot. In fact, buried in the press release, the District Attorney concedes that "many of the NYPD and FDNY applicants had limited physical disabilities that legitimately entitled them to state disability pensions."
Inflammatory pictures, press conferences and sound bites are good, but what ultimately matters in our justice system is proof. What the prosecution must prove in a grand larceny case is that a defendant 1) "with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he 2) wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof." Here the value of what was allegedly wrongfully obtained span a wide range – in some cases several thousands of dollars. Sometimes a picture can say 1,000 words and be helpful in proving a case. Other times a picture is just a picture that captures an image of one individual for one moment in time. Without a doubt, if the prosecution offers a picture of a defendant "working" at a food stand during the San Gennaro Festival as somehow indicating that the person in the photograph is capable of full-time work under the strict and complex Social Security Disability Insurance law, it will fall, far short of its required burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Press releases, political posturing through sound bites, calculated and selective release of evidence intending to garner headlines may give the impression of an effective administration and a strong case. When the actual case begins, however, and the DA's office is obligated to present its proof, the prosecution cannot shirk its fundamental burden—producing credible, admissible evidence that proves its case to an impartial jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Today's headlines and news items will be forgotten and soon only facts and real evidence will matter. As a criminal defense attorney, I prefer to avoid a rush to judgment and will wait for that time.
Media Contact: Steven Brill, Sullivan Brill, LLP, 212-566-1000, [email protected]
News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com
SOURCE Sullivan Brill, LLP
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,745
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 6,736
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great t...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 2,354
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 1,166
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 4,601
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Jan. 18, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 2,887
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
Jan. 18, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 1,546
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed ...
Jan. 18, 2017 05:30 AM EST Reads: 6,273
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 18, 2017 05:15 AM EST Reads: 3,569
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Jan. 18, 2017 03:45 AM EST Reads: 3,999
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT depl...
Jan. 18, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 1,830
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
Jan. 18, 2017 02:15 AM EST Reads: 3,221
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Jan. 18, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 4,212
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Jan. 18, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 4,923
"Splunk basically takes machine data and we make it usable, valuable and accessible for everyone. The way that plays in DevOps is - we need to make data-driven decisions to delivering applications," explained Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk and @DevOpsSummit Conference Chair, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 18, 2017 01:00 AM EST Reads: 2,020