: I don't expectany sympathy
New York's worst rogue cop speaks out
By MICHELE McPHEEDAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU CHIEF Michael Dowd
, out of prison a week, has new worry: trying to find a job. He
still walks like a cop.Head erect, eyes darting to the left, to the right.Evaluating each person around him.Feet moving swiftly.
But Michael Dowd's days as a police officer are long gone, undone by the excess of sordid crimes he
committed on the job.
By the time he
was stripped of his
NYPD badge and sent to prison in 1994, Dowd
had become the poster boy for dirty cops.
A decade later, Dowd
is out on the streets again, stripped of his
swagger and just about everything he
once held dear.
"I'm just a lost soul trying to put my life back together," he
told the Daily News
"I lost everything.My wife.My kids.I don't expect any sympathy.What I did was wrong.I paid the price," Dowd
, 42, said.
"I've made it through.I've dealt with a lot of bad things.I need to make it back to life."
The News caught up with Dowd
, who was quietly released from prison last week, at a federal halfway house in Bedford-Stuyvesant. His
new home is across the street from a hardscrabble housing project in a neighborhood similar to the one he
once patrolled in the 75th Precinct, a Brooklyn ghetto visibly wrecked by poverty and drugs. He
badge and revolver for criminal gain, organizing a crew of more than a dozen crooked cops who raided Brooklyn drug dens for cash and cocaine.
"I'm a different human being now," Dowd
told The News.
The sun cast a shadow on Dowd
skulked down Marcy Ave. Wednesday, his
hands shoved in the pocket of a quilted navy Carhart jacket, the kind preferred by plainclothes cops.
It was a long way from his
past, when he
had four houses on Long Island and took weekend trips to Atlantic City in a limousine.He
drove a $35,000 red Corvette back then to his
tour at the 75th Precinct, wore expensive suits on plainclothes assignments and boasted of lavish tropical vacations - all while bringing home a cop's paltry salary of $400 a week.
A small, sinewy man, his
real muscle comes from his
intense blue eyes.When he
looks up, he
instinctively throws a "murder-one stare," as cops call it, a stony glare daring someone to challenge him. He
had spent Wednesday looking for work with little success.
Residents of the six-story coed halfway house must be employed, but Dowd
hasn't found anything yet. His
résumé is hardly attractive: a dirty cop who tarnished the badge and then ratted out his
friends when he
testified before the Mollen Commission
- a police corruption panel created by former Mayor David Dinkins.
"Who is going to give me a job?"Dowd
said."I'm still in a dangerous situation.
...1982: Michael Dowd joins NYPD as a 20-year-old rookie.
Within weeks, he
takes free drinks and pizza, he
later tells the Mollen Commission
, a panel created by former Mayor David Dinkins in response to the crimes he
becomes a patrol cop in Brooklyn's 75th Precinct, in East New York.Within a year, he
forms a crew of cops that begins robbing drug dealers of up to $500 a week.
1986: Known on the streets as "Mike the Cop," he
begins charging drug dealers as much as $8,000 a week for "protection."He
begins to participate in kidnappings of drug dealers and sells stolen drugs on Long Island.
Internal Affairs Sgt.Joe Trimbole begins to investigate Dowd
, but claims he
did not get support from police brass on the case.
1988 to 1992: NYPD
brass receive numerous complaints about Dowd
, who flaunts his
ill-gotten wealth by driving a $35,000 Corvette, owning four posh homes and wearing expensive clothes.
May 6, 1992: Dowd
and five other cops are arrested by Suffolk County police in a case dubbed "The Losers' Club
" for dealing drugs on Long Island.Dowd
is carrying cocaine in his
uniform pocket when arrested on duty.
Late 1992: While awaiting trial, Dowd
writes letters to drug dealers and plots to kidnap the widow of a Colombian drug lord - all to fund his
plan to flee to Nicaragua with his
wife and kids.
September 1993: Dowd
testifies before the Mollen Commission
is sentenced to 14 years in prison, where he
tearfully apologizes to fellow officers."It's a very difficult job.