Editor says police retaliation is behind bust at wife’s spa

The New York Times | Times Union
On March 15, Albany, N.Y., police raided Green Garden Asian Spa and arrested Mia Lin on a misdemeanor prostitution charge. Green Garden, which has now closed, belonged to Bin Cheng, whose husband is J. Robert Port, the investigations editor for the Times Union, Port told The New York Times “he believed that the city’s mayor and local law enforcement agencies targeted his wife’s business in retaliation for critical coverage in his newspaper.”

The Albany police chief told the Times Union that the raid was unorthodox; Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said he was “very bothered” about the raid and disbanded the unit that conducted it. “I didn’t like the direction the unit was going,” he told The Times Union’s Brendan J. Lyons.

The Times Union has been publishing stories about that unit, which was headed by Det. John Burke, since last April. From its account:

The Times Union’s stories triggered a sheriff’s internal investigation into allegations that Burke had purchased at least two departmental vehicles after he traded them in at car dealerships at reduced values. Burke previously acknowledged that he purchased the SUVs but could not recall what he paid for them. In December, sheriff’s officials said the internal probe was suspended because departmental records related to the purchases had been lost.

Port, who is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s journalism school, denied the police report about the raid, during which a detective alleged that Lin touched his genitalia in exchange for money. In the Times, Danny Hakim and Nicholas Confessore write: “Mr. Port denied that account, and said that a police officer ‘stripped naked and masturbated in front of’ Ms. Lin. He also said Ms. Lin was strip-searched.”

“Obviously I have pissed some people off enough to the point where they would send in jackbooted thug police officers to do an anal search on someone I believe they thought was my wife,” Mr. Port said, adding, “I am enraged, I am angry.”

Times Union Editor Rex Smith told The New York Times that Port’s charge of a police plot is an “explosive one, and we wouldn’t put that into print without being pretty confident of our reporting.” But the paper’s account does not include Port’s allegations against police.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    Having read the NYT story now, it seems that the spa was a sex joint, I mean the masseuse, 51 years old, had US$5000 on her at the time the police stopped by, and everyone knows those places are NOT for back rubs, those are happy ending joints, and at times full service joints, and they often emply women who have been trafficked to the USA from Europe and Asia — especially from Thailand, Korea South, Japan,
    Taiwan, China Communist and Vietnam. Why on earth is a reporter involved in any any way with such
    a sleazy sex operation, even if it is his wife’s own business? To repeat: that ain a back rub place. That’s a place where men get their rocks off for a price, and where women are employed to service men against
    their real wishes. You think the women in those joints aren’t slaves? Think again. WTF is all I can say. That reporter should be ashamed. Not of his wife, that’s HER business. But of himself for being part of
    such a shady operation. I assume his wife is his childhood sweetheart and they are a long married couple and that she is NOT a mail order bride or something of that sort. But this story has legs. SIGH….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ANQOMYZSCAK6I6HWGLLGXY7CLU Dan

    One of the reason these agents preffer these type of operation over fighting real street crimes, is that they know that they can profit big personally from it.They fabricate these sex acts and creating opportunity for themselvs in taking their cash and valuble items from these places. In so manytimes of these operations, the first thing they enter these places is looking for cash and valuble items.  Strip search may explain how they are taking cash from these helpless victims. The cash and jelwery they took from these people are only partially reported and these none-English speaking victims are having difficulty defending their innocent in which often not able to persue for their monetary and material lost.These units from Albany county are nothing more than a bounce of licensed thieves.

  • Jim Strathmeyer

    Dirty cops, every single one. Not a good cop to be found in all of America.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YNFRJN2LOYX2LIGR4IZPNGJGYM Frank

     With what has been taking place in this country since 9/11 I wouldn’t be surprised if Port is spot on. With the exaggerated response of this government to 9/11 you would think it would make more Americans suspicious about 9/11!!!

  • Anonymous

    Another example of ‘Merican cops putting the P I G in police officer.

  • Anonymous

    That’s business as usual for most cops.