Friday evening I spoke with NYPD spokesman, Det. Sessa (“Could I get a first name?” “Detective.”) regarding the murder last Sunday night of 24-year-old Ingrid “China” Rivera at the popular, trouble-plagued Times Square karaoke club, Spotlight Live.
Rivera, a British Airways customer service agent at JFK airport, and her girlfriend, Sasha Castillo, had paid to attend a birthday bash for rapper-felon L’il Kim, for whom Rivera had brought a bouquet of flowers. Sayed Rahman, a 24-year-old barback who has worked at the club for four years, chats up both women early on, and takes the flowers from Rivera, promising to give them to their intended recipient.
At one point, Rahman allegedly tells Castillo that Rivera is on the roof, takes Castillo there via the service elevator, and “gropes” her. Fortunately, Castillo fights him off, and escapes.
Unfortunately, Ingrid Rivera’s luck runs out.
She gets thrown out of the club for being excessively drunk, and for accidentally walking into the men’s room. Rahman—who has apparently spent more time shadowing the women than working—hunts her down, and sees she is drunk outside the bar, trying to talk her way back in. He tells her “he could get her back in,” and recycles the story he told Castillo. He gets Rivera in through the staff entrance, and the previous incident is replayed, only this time, Rahman refuses to take “no” for an answer. At 2:45 a.m., inside a rooftop elevator utility room, she resists him, and he smashes her skull in with a steel pole, and repeatedly slits her throat, severing her carotid artery. Blood sprays everywhere. Rivera dies from “blunt trauma impact to the head and incised wounds that severed the ceratoid [sic] artery.”
L’il Kim never even gets the flowers Ingrid Rivera bought for her.
On Tuesday, Rivera’s mother files a missing persons report. On Wednesday, detectives who may by then have heard the girlfriend’s description of the groping barback, view the party’s security videotape and search the club. After they leave, a workman finds Rivera’s body inside the utility room. Rahman is immediately suspected, because he left, shaken, two hours early at 3 a.m. Monday, and was one of the few employees enjoying access to the roof.
When Rahman resurfaces Thursday morning at the Harlem apartment where he lives with his parents, police are waiting for him, and while attempting to “minimize his role,” he soon confesses to hitting Rivera with the steel pole. Charged with second-degree murder, Rahman is being held without bail, but now has counsel, and thus may repudiate his confession.
The suspect has a typically Moslem name, and in an interview, the victim’s mother speaks halting English. Was the victim or the killer (or both) an immigrant (and if so, legal or illegal?)? Was the killer’s religion a factor, in thinking that women of other religions were less than chaste? Could he have thought that an immigrant woman would be vulnerable? Any detective worth his salt would ask these questions.
Back to Det. Sessa. After he confirms for me the spelling of the suspect’s name and his age, I ask him, “Now, can you give me his nationality, whether he’s a U.S. citizen, whether he was born here or somewhere else?”
Det. Sessa: “No.”
NS: “Do you know anything about his religion.”
Det. Sessa: “I do not.”
NS: “Now, what do you know about Ingrid Rivera, the victim?”
Det. Sessa: “As far as what?”
NS: “Age, nationality, religion?”
Det. Sessa: “She’s a female Hispanic, 24.”
NS: “Do you know where she was born.”
Det. Sessa: “I do not.”
NS: “So, you don’t know if she was a citizen, or...”
Det. Sessa: “We don’t deal with that. Crime victim.”
NS: “Well, I mean, it’s vital information.”
Det. Sessa: “No, it’s not.”
NS: “Ok, thank you for your time, Detective.”
Det. Sessa: “You’re welcome.”
Det. Sessa has a great future as a keeper of state secrets.
Unless the NYPD’s forms have been changed, due to the city’s illegal sanctuary policy, they would routinely require filling in blanks for victims’ and suspects’ respective date and place of birth, nationality, religion, etc. And why would matters as sensitive as the name of the main witness (Castillo), and as irrelevant as the victim’s job be vital to the public interest, but not the information I sought? It would be revolutionary for a police force not to want such basic information. The next step will be to imitate the MSM, and withhold victims’ and suspects’ race and ethnicity.
Such stonewalling leaves all civilians in the position of Plato’s allegorical cave dwellers, interpreting shadows on a wall.
I know from personal experience that New York City authorities ask extremely intrusive questions of crime victims not from protected groups.
Imagine a prosecutor trying to humanize the murder victim to a jury, or show motive on the part of the defendant: “Well, we don’t really know anything about either of these people, except that they were both 24 years old, she’s dead, and he isn’t.”
Either the NYPD is lying, or it is sacrificing basic police work on the altar of multiculturalism.
By the way, I determined Det. Sessa’s first name: It’s Brian. [Send him mail]