Did The NYPD Invent Murder Ties To Smear Occupy Wall Street?

On Tuesday, the local New York City NBC affiliate ran a story based on an unnamed source leaking information on a murder case, with the following headline, "DNA links Occupy protest scene to 2004 murder." There had been a break in the eight-years-cold investigation of the murder of Sarah Fox in Inwood Hill Park. DNA evidence recovered from her CD player, found near her corpse, matched DNA taken from a chain used to hold open a subway door in the fare strike conducted by wildcat transit union members and Occupy Wall Street activists.

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"Anonymous" sources and DNA "evidence" that turns out to be false attempt to tie Occupy movement to a brutal murder.

On Tuesday, the local New York City NBC affiliate ran a story based on an unnamed source leaking information on a murder case, with the following headline, "DNA links Occupy protest scene to 2004 murder." There had been a break in the eight-years-cold investigation of the murder of Sarah Fox in Inwood Hill Park. DNA evidence recovered from her CD player, found near her corpse, matched DNA taken from a chain used to hold open a subway door in the fare strike conducted by wildcat transit union members and Occupy Wall Street activists.

The article appeared to be based on a single unnamed source, seemingly speaking from within the NYPD investigation, though not even the basis of the source's expertise was given.

Then it seems the police already had a main "person of interest" in the case, Dimitry Sheinman, a person with no ties to Occupy Wall Street (He's lived in South Africa until recently), well before the DNA evidence surfaced. At the end of the article it states that "Sheinman remains a leading person of interest."

So...the NYPD is collecting DNA from Occupy protest scenes? Outrageous, not to mention how incredibly expensive it would be to do DNA testing on all of any such samples.

Then on Wednesday, comes this New York Times report:

A link between DNA from the unsolved killing of Sarah Fox, a Juilliard student, in 2004 and DNA taken from a chain placed at the site of an Occupy Wall Street action in March may be the result of a laboratory error, according to two people briefed on the investigation.

One of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it appeared that the DNA recovered from skin cells on the slain woman’s portable compact disc player and from the chain found this year came from a Police Department employee who works with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

And now Thursday, that same local NBC affiliate reports this:

Two sources said officials are investigating whether at an NYPD lab technician came into contact with both pieces of evidence, causing the match.

How would both samples be tainted unless they weren’t working from a database match, but from some manufactured reason to check the DNA samples side by side?

NBC also reports that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was "Asked Wednesday why police tested the chains for forensic evidence, Kelly said, "If we are able to identify someone who committed a crime using forensic evidence, we are going to use it."'

Also a statement from an Occupy Wall Street spokesman, "I hope the person or persons who killed this young woman are found and brought to justice," said Bill Dobbs, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street. "We don't know anything about it... I hope no one jumps to any conclusions."

As the media has already "gone there," I hope they also now continue to hammer Ray Kelley about his program of collecting DNA from protest sites, because that's the only actual scoop in this whole story.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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