A Harlem cop banked $358 in overtime for hours she spent at her precinct’s stationhouse, where her husband was being processed on an assault arrest, authorities said Tuesday.
The NYPD wrapped up its departmental trial against Police Officer Shanturah Brathwaite, claiming the 12-year veteran put in for a day’s worth of overtime even though her supervisors told her to end her shift shortly after her husband, Russel (Big Russ) Smith, was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
Brathwaite, 42, had agreed to do an overtime shift at the 32nd Precinct on May 5, 2015, but about two hours into her tour, her husband, a local barber and community leader, was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
Smith was walking near his shop on 133rd St. and Seventh Ave. about 5:40 p.m. when he claims he saw cops surrounding his brother’s car. When he tried to intervene, he was accused of assaulting an officer and arrested.
Department Advocate Beth Douglas said once Brathwaite heard her husband was arrested, she never returned to duty — though she put in for overtime as if she did.
“(Brathwaite) was asked to enforce the law and keep the streets safe,” Douglas said. “She was not asked to take care of her personal business.”
“It was clear that she was not working to the conclusion of her tour,” the advocate said. “She was not doing overtime. She was tending to the arrest of her husband.”
Braithwaite claimed no one told her to “suit down and leave” until 11 p.m. — about an hour before the overtime tour was ending.
She said after she learned her husband was arrested, she went to the precinct and waited to speak to the commanding officer.
After several hours, she was given permission to visit her husband in his holding cell and bring him some food, she testified.
“It was never discussed,” she said when asked about ending her shift after Smith was arrested. “I remember sitting there crying, not knowing what to do…what to make of this…was he OK and not injured.”
Charges against her husband were ultimately dismissed.
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Her lawyer, Keith White, said Brathwaite was on track to become a detective, but the departmental charges have derailed her plans. She is now assigned to a precinct in the Bronx.
“There is nothing on the record to show that she violated any rules,” White said during his summation Tuesday. “Police Officer Braithwaite has already been punished. She was on track to become a detective, but this has taken her off the detective track.”
The Department Advocate’s office is asking the NYPD to dock Braithwaite 25 vacation days and pay back the $358.
A source with knowledge of the case said that the NYPD filed charges against Brathwaite only because her husband had sued the department for false arrest and won.
A department judge will evaluate her case and make a recommendation to Police Commissioner James O’Neill, who will have the final say in Braithwaite’s future.
The NYPD won’t publicly release Braithwaite’s sentence as it continues to cite Section 50-a of the state Civil Rights Law, which prevents the public disclosure of personnel records of uniformed officers. She would have to waive the rule if the decision was to be made public.