Suffolk police have arrested on domestic violence charges Islip resident Michael Dowd, the former NYPD police officer convicted in 1994 on drug charges stemming from a massive scandal in which corrupt cops shook down Brooklyn drug dealers and resold their wares.
Dowd, 55, was arrested 1:50 a.m. Friday and charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, Suffolk police said, though they declined to identify the choking victim, who was assaulted in East Islip, citing department policy for domestic violence cases.
Details of the incident were unavailable and neither Dowd nor his attorney could be reached for comment.
The former officer of the 75th Precinct in East New York was nabbed by Suffolk cops more than two decades after Suffolk officers arrested the former Port Jefferson Station man for distributing cocaine swiped from city drug dealers on Long Island. Police learned of the depth of the scandal after they intercepted conversations between a drug dealer and some of the other people involved in the ring, according to news reports.
Dowd became a central figure in a scandal that lasted about a decade involving officers who abused their authority by taking payoffs from dealers and shaking others down in order to peddle and use the drugs they stole while maintaining lavish lifestyles.
Dowd had testified that he operated with near impunity as supervisors and fellow cops looked the other way and, by some estimates, his enterprise scored him $4,000 a week from Brooklyn cocaine dealers.
His arrest in May 1992, along with several other NYPD officers who lived on Long Island, was the catalyst for then-Mayor David Dinkins to form the Mollen Commission, a panel designed to root out corruption among city officers.
“It’s Us against Them out there,” Dowd said in testimony before the Mollen Commission in 1993, according to a Newsday report. “ Us is the police officers, Them is the public . . . Cops don’t turn in other cops. Cops don’t want to be labeled as rats. Cops have to depend on each other for survival.”
Dowd spent nearly 12 years in prison on racketeering and drug convictions.
A version of his life spiraling from a decorated officer who joined the nation’s largest and most revered police force in 1982 to the mastermind of a notoriously corrupt band of officers taken down a decade later was chronicled in the 2014 documentary “The Seven Five.”
Since his release, Dowd had reinvented himself as a consultant who “discusses the ethics of policing, police corruption and misconduct and the understanding of the ‘blue code’,” according to his website.