Nancy Genovese was arrested in New York for taking pictures. She was imprisoned and tortured over several days to send a message to “Teabaggers.”
Genovese’s ordeal began when she noticed a helicopter on display in front of the Gabreski Airport in Suffolk County and decided to take a picture to post on her personal “Support Our Troops” Web page. In doing so, she parked across the street from the airport on a public road. She crossed the street to the airport entrance, another public road.
After taking a few pictures she crossed the street again and got into her car to drive away. As she did, Southampton Town Police Lt. Robert Iberger stopped her and demanded to know why she was taking photographs.
Iberger took her camera. Genovese got a hold of the camera and removed the memory card. Iberger confiscated it. Iberger then notified the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Office and airport authorities that he had a potential terrorist detained. Before long, officers from other local departments and agents from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were on the scene.
Genovese’s car was searched without her consent. Officers found an unloaded rifle in a locked case in her trunk (she had been target shooting that morning, and it is perfectly legal to keep an unloaded rifle in the trunk of a car). For the next five or six hours, Genovese was interrogated, taunted, harangued, threatened, belittled, abused, humiliated and harassed by members of the Sheriff’s Office. During this time, officers noticed she was limping from an ankle injury she had received earlier in the day. Officers made her show them the injury, which was bleeding, then threatened to charge her for not reporting a knife wound. Deputy Robert Carlock repeatedly called her a “right winger” and a “teabagger,” and he threatened to charge her with terrorism to make an example of her for other “right wingers” and “teabaggers.”
Sometime around midnight, airport officials and Federal agents determined Genovese posed no terrorist or security threat and left. But Carlock ordered Genovese handcuffed. When Genovese’s children tried to get her purse, which contained a large amount of cash, deputies threatened them with arrest.
Genovese was then taken to a holding cell at the Sheriff’s Office. On the way there, Carlock continued to taunt Genovese, telling her she would pay and admitting they had nothing to charge her with, but that he would “find something in order to teach all right wingers and teabaggers a lesson.”
In the holding cell, she was interrogated without being Mirandized. Her requests for a lawyer were ignored. She was told she was being charged with terrorism.
She was finally taken to a nearby medical center for treatment of her leg wound. She was handcuffed to a bed. The treatment required her to disrobe, and male deputies insisted on watching the procedure. She was discharged with antibiotics and treatment instructions, and was then taken back to the cell. But deputies denied her access to the antibiotics, and she developed a staph infection.
The next morning, Genovese was questioned again by FBI, but not charged. She was transported to court, where she said she was not secured by a seatbelt in the back of the patrol car, but had her hands cuffed behind her back. On the trip to the courthouse, deputies drove recklessly, making repeated violent and sudden turns that caused her to be flung about the back seat. Deputies seemed to get a kick out of it.
She was again denied access to an attorney at the courthouse and for her arraignment. She was charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass in the third degree. She was finally assigned a legal aid attorney by the judge. But Carlock and another deputy told the judge her car contained surveillance equipment (a point-and-shoot camera) and that they believed she was a terrorist, so her bail was set at $50,000.
Once back at the jail, the legal aid attorney spoke to Carlock and Undersheriff Joseph Caracappa. After the conversation, the legal aid attorney told Genovese he would not represent her and he was going to request she be put on a suicide watch. She was photographed, fingerprinted, eye scanned and issued prison “greens” to wear. She was interviewed by a woman in civilian clothes. During the interview, two men wearing jackets bearing the words “Suffolk County Emergency Response Team” entered the room. One of them led Genovese from the room and held her in the hall. She said she could hear the other man arguing with the woman, and she heard the woman say, “She is not suicidal.”
The two men then moved Genovese to another room. There, a woman who claimed to be a nurse gave Genovese two injections without Genovese’s consent. One of the men held her arm still while the other kept her head turned away so she could not see what was being done. She was forced to disrobe and made to wear a “suicide gown” that was a heavy, jacket-type blanket that fastens with Velcro. She was not permitted to wear undergarments under the suicide gown, and was made to wear it for three days. Finally, a psychiatrist interviewed her, determined she wasn’t suicidal and had her removed from suicide watch. Later that day, her bail was posted and she was released. The charges against her were dropped.
The Sheriff’s Office issued a press release in response to media inquiries. It called Genovese a terrorist and a right-wing extremist and falsely stated she had been taking pictures of the airport and surrounding security and that she had 500 rounds of ammunition and “scary weapons” in her car. It also falsely stated she had previously been removed from the airport for trespassing and had been warned to stay away.
Her camera memory card was not returned to her. More than $5,000 in cash was missing from her purse. The contents of her car’s glove box were removed.
Genovese has filed a $70 million lawsuit against the Town of Southampton, Suffolk County, Iberger, Caracappa, Carlock and other members of the Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit is ongoing.
On May 1, Iberger retired from the Sheriff’s Office. He got a $215,483 payout, a full pension and lifetime medical benefits. It pays to be a government terrorist.
This case began more than a year ago. I’ll bet you haven’t heard about this on ABC News, CNN or Fox, et al., or read about it in The New York Times or any other newspaper of record. It doesn’t jibe with their agenda.
Iberger came out smelling like a rose. Genovese is still awaiting justice. This is the police state in which we now live.