NYPD detective indicted for lying under oath over Harlem drug bust
A 16-year veteran detective pleaded not guilty after he was indicted Wednesday for lying under oath and botching the prosecution of suspects found with 2 kilos of cocaine.
Said Salim, 42, and a partner stopped two men on July 13, 2009, in Central Harlem. At the time, Salim told the court he had stopped them because one of the two looked like a confidential informant.
Days later, Salim told a jury he realized at the time that the man wasn’t in fact the informant and instructed them to leave the scene and take a duffle bag he saw between them.
When the men denied the bag belonged to either of them, Salim testified that he unzipped it to find two bricks of cocaine.
The discovery prompted the officers to arrest the suspects, which prosecutors now say was done without probable cause as Salim’s search of the duffel bag was unlawful, after they say Salim lied on the stand about when he patted the suspects down.
Salim said he didn’t pat the suspects down, while prosecutors allege that surveillance video from a nearby apartment security system shows the officer patting them down before unzipping the bag.
After working with the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said Wednesday that the drug possession case against the two suspects was dismissed as a result of Salim’s false testimony in 2009.
“Dishonesty from a member of the law enforcement community is detrimental, not only to the rights of defendants but to the reputation of all law enforcement in the communities we serve,” said Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. in a statement Wednesday.
“The fair administration of justice depends on honest testimony,” he added.
An attorney for Salim told the New York Post on Wednesday that the case would be “vigorously contested.”
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