Ex-police chief accused in beating, cover up

(New York Times) The former police chief of Suffolk County was arrested Wednesday on federal charges that he walked into an interrogation room three years ago, badly beat a man who was suspected of having stolen items from his police vehicle, then coerced fellow officers to cover up the act, prosecutors said.

The former chief, James Burke, 51, who left the force recently as a federal investigation into the episode mounted, faces charges that he violated the man’s civil rights and later obstructed an investigation into the matter.

“No one is above the law,” Robert L. Capers, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said while outlining the allegations at a news conference at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, on Long Island.