SUFFOLK COUNTY – Police Chief James Burke resigned Tuesday after a lengthy probe into the arrest of a 27-year-old man who claims he was brutalized by multiple police officers, including Burke, according to the Suffolk County Executive’s office.
His decision to resign comes after a decision by the federal Eastern District of New York to reopen their investigation into the alleged brutality.
Christopher Loeb, 27, who was charged in 2013 with breaking into a string of cars in Saint James, Long Island, testified in court that he found “nasty porn” in a duffel bag inside Burke’s car.
Loeb said that Burke himself showed up to arrest him and haul him back to the Suffolk County Fourth Precinct. Loeb testified that four officers took turns beating him for about 15 minutes, before they were called out of the room so Burke could allegedly take over.
The FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and New York State Police all launched accusations into Loeb’s claims.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber issued the following statement Tuesday:
“Chief of Department James C. Burke has confirmed to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and myself his intent to retire. Chief Burke is one of the most outstanding supervisors, investigators, and trainers in the history of the Suffolk County Police Department. Serving together with Chief Burke, we have brought down crime in Suffolk County by more than 20 percent during the past 3 ½ years. I thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the people of Suffolk County. The Suffolk County Police Department and all of its members will continue to do the exceptional work it has been doing for the past five decades, making Suffolk County one of the safest counties in our country.
Chief of Support Services Stuart Cameron has been designated Acting Chief of Department and will be officially appointed to the position upon the official retirement date of Chief Burke, which is anticipated to be within the next 15 days.”