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Detective Fired for Stealing Cash from Deli Sues To Get Job Back

NEW YORK CITY — An NYPD detective who was fired after the department determined he stole cash during a deli raid is suing the city to reinstate him to his former position, according to a new lawsuit filed in Supreme Court.

Former Det. Ian Cyrus was dismissed from the NYPD in November after the department found him guilty of taking money from a Bedford-Stuyvesant deli during a "buy and bust" operation in 2015, disciplinary records submitted with the suit show.

Cyrus is now calling on the NYPD to give him his job back on the grounds that the decision was “arbitrary and capricious” in nature, according to the suit filed March 16.

The recent documents also allege that former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s public statements about his conduct “irretrievably tainted the disciplinary process.”

On April 3, 2015, Cyrus and other officers went to Yemen Deli on Marcus Garvey Boulevard near Halsey Street after learning the business was selling untaxed cigarettes, according to the former detective's lawsuit.

Detectives removed money and cigarettes from the bodega during the search, and Cyrus removed an unknown amount of cash from a cigar box under the cash register, according to the suit.

“Cyrus place[d] the money he recovered in his pocket — which was not against NYPD rule, regulation or policy,” the former detective's Supreme Court filing reads.

Store owner Ali Abdullah later returned to the store and reviewed security camera video, and alleged there had been $2,650 in the cigar box, according to NYPD trial documents submitted with the filing, though Abdullah refused to cooperate with investigators.

While the exact amount of money Cyrus took was unclear, officials cited video footage in their decision saying he made “a determined effort to conceal the money from his colleagues” and that he pocketed the money with intention of stealing it, NYPD trial documents show.

In the March 16 filing, Cyrus’ attorney argues that witnesses did not provide strong enough evidence to convict, and that the assistant deputy commissioner for trials “turned to mind-reading” to “divine intent from Cyrus’ body language” and found him guilty.

News of the lawsuit was first reported by the Daily News.

Bratton had made a public statement about Cyrus shortly after the incident, according to the the suit, saying: “It appears that one of our officers, in the presence of a supervisor and a partner, actually stole money,” adding that the activity was “mind-boggling” and “disturbing.”

The suit alleges that Bratton “prejudged” the detective’s guilt, tainting the process and violating his right to due process.

Cyrus is suing for the city to reinstate him on the force, along with monetary damages.

An attorney for Cyrus declined to comment.

The legal papers will be reviewed by the city's Law Department, according to the agency.