A NYPD officer accused of planning a murder has been placed on a 23-hour lockdown and the officer's family is outraged at his treatment. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Officer Jose Ramos has been in solitary confinement at the Manhattan Detention Center for the last week. He was moved there from Rikers Island after the Bronx DA charged him and his wife with plotting to kill a witness in a drug case he's also facing.
Ramos's family said he's unfairly being kept away from them.
"He can't speak to anybody," said his daughter, Nicole. "For all I know, he is being treated like an animal. He can't even tell me. And I don't like that."
Why is Ramos in solitary, on 23-hour-a-day lockdown, away from phones, family and other inmates? The court order that put him there is sealed. But the DA said while Ramos was at Rikers, he was caught on wiretapped phone conversations plotting to have someone killed.
"It is ridiculous to believe that an officer that has been on the force for more than 15 years would be stupid enough to plan a murder over a Rikers phone," Nicole Ramos said.
Ramos's lawyer, Dawn Florio, said the the Bronx DA pulled a sneaky move by requesting the lockdown without her knowing.
"My client feels it is maybe a way to coerce a plea from him," she said. "But he wants to fight all the charges and he wants his day in court as soon as possible."
While Ramos was investigated for alleged ties to drug dealing, the NYPD and DA stumbled on the ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx. 16 officers are charged with making tickets disappear.
But Ramos's family pointed out that the lead internal affairs investigator for the case, Detective Randy Katakofsky, has been hit with departmental charges for conducting parts of the investigation without getting NYPD authorization.
"Everybody is talking about what my father has done," Nicole Ramos said. "But at this same time, you want to look at this lead investigator, who's in charge of all of this, and see that he is not reliable at all. He is being brought up on charges himself."
Ramos's family said he has run baseball and youth programs in the Bronx and is no criminal. They question why his bail has been set so high at $500,000 cash or a $5 million bond.
He's due back in court next month.