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New York City Cops Suspected of Faking Vaxx Cards, Stripped of Badges

Image for article titled New York City Cops Suspected of Faking Vaxx Cards, Stripped of Badges

Photo: Michael M. Santiago (Getty Images)

Two NYPD officers allegedly faked vaxx documents and submitted them to…the NYPD. The police department reports that they have been stripped of their guns and badges and demoted to desk duty. They’re the newest representatives of the unmasked, vaxx-resistant cop contingent, regularly sighted maskless on subways, some shoving a critical rider out of a subway station, allegedly for questioning their refusal to follow the simple safety rule.

All this at a time when New York City covid-19 hospitalizations are up 48 percent over a two-week period.

Just before the October 29th vaccine deadline, police unions reported that 10,000 cops—nearly a third of officers—were still unvaccinated. Days later, Bill de Blasio claimed that 84 percent of all NYPD employees were vaccinated, though only 34 had been placed on unpaid leave for refusing to follow the rule. The largest New York City police union sued the city in October over the mandate, which a federal judge refused to block.

The New York Post, which first reported the story, identifies the officers as Lieutenant Joseph Marsella and Captain Desmond Morales. A “high-ranking police source” reportedly informed the outlet that “numerous people” are “being summonsed by the Attorney General and FBI.”

The NYPD did not confirm state or federal investigations to Gizmodo, but, in an emailed statement, it said that the Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating.

“We were clear from the outset that vaccine compliance was a serious matter,” it reads. “It is not just about the individual NYPD employee’s health, but also the health of their coworkers and others around them. We worked out a process. It included how to apply for an exemption and a two-level appeals process.”

City employees were required to get the first dose of vaccine by 5pm on October 29th or else be put on unpaid leave. By November 12th, Gothamist reported, almost 6,200 out of 52,000 NYPD employees had filed for religious or medical exemptions.

The NYPD goes on to say that “[i]f the investigation finds that these two officers substituted false documentation to the department it is a serious breach of integrity and the law.”

The Post, the outlet most tapped into NYPD sources, hints at a possible “widespread department scam.”