Mount Vernon — Rahsi McClean, a man acquitted of murder last month in the Mount Vernon slaying of a Gloria Nartey has filed a $61 million dollar federal lawsuit alleging that detectives and prosecutors used unreliable witnesses to bring their case against him.
McClean is suing Westchester County, Mount Vernon, District Attorney Anthony Scarpino and six current or former MVPD detectives for false arrest, malicious prosecution and other alleged violations of his civil rights.
The family and legal team of Rahsi McLean held a press conference on the steps of City Hall, Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 at 11:00 am to call for oversight of the Mount Vernon Police Department and announce the filing of civil rights lawsuit.
Westchester County Assistant District Attorney, Ms. Prisco calls “the Mount Vernon Police Incompetent” and says “They need an overhaul of the Police Department,” in her summation, in County Court on Wednesday, May 10th.
A Westchester County jury found McClean not guilty of all charges in the Aug. 8, 2011, killing of 27-year-old Gloria Nartey, who was walking home with groceries when she was shot in the back of the head when gunfire erupted on South 12th Avenue. She was working for PepsiCo as a flavor chemist and was engaged to marry a Bronx pastor.
The lawsuit contends that detectives and prosecutors knew that some of the statements given by witnesses implicating McClean were untrue but still pushed forward with them to get an indictment.
McClean is seeking $55 million from Westchester County and Mount Vernon and $1 million each from Gamble, Clarke, Baltimore, Mount Vernon police Sgt. Gregory Addison, retired Mount Vernon police Lt. Vincent Manzione and former Mount Vernon Detective Daniel Ibanez. Baltimore is now an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office.
Scarpino who was elected District Attorney last year, is also named in the lawsuit despite the fact he was not in office when Nartey was killed or McClean arrested but was in office for trial.
The lawsuit maintains that uncooperative witnesses were coerced into testifying and that prosecutors were on notice about the unreliability of witnesses because a detective had written a report indicating it.
Pamela Hayes, McClean’s lawyer, said both the police department and the District Attorney’s Office were on notice because similar things had occurred in the past.
“That police department has problems,” she said. “(The prosecutor) admits that but what is her office doing about it?”
The Westchester district attorney’s office declined to comment on the case, stating that the case was sealed since it ended in an acquittal when Black Westchester Magazine contacted them for a quote.