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By NICK DIVITO
The New York Post excoriated a retired cop who publicly decried the chokehold death of Eric Garner as a murder, he claims in a $200 million federal lawsuit.
Corey Pegues made the comments about Garner in an August 2014 appearance on the "Combat Jack Show," a podcast his April 8 lawsuit describes as targeting black males "who embrace the hip hop culture."
RELATED STORY: New York City Police Caught Editing Wikipedia Entries About Eric Garner and Other Victims of Police BrutalityThe podcast aired as horrifying footage was going viral of Garner's death at the hands of Staten Island police the month before.
Though the New York City medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide, it would be several more months before the grand jury refused to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who maintained the fatal chokehold on Garner as he gasped repeatedly, "I can't breathe."
In his lawsuit, Pegues says he had appeared on the podcast because he had been lobbying for police reform ever since an on-the-job injury in 2011 forced him to retire from the New York City Police Department.
Talking about the various adversities he overcame to join the force in the 1990s, Pegues allegedly told podcast listeners about trouble he got into as a black youth while "running the streets" on the Southside of Jamaica, Queens.
Pegues said he served in the Army after getting a misdemeanor juvenile arrest dismissed and sealed in 1986, and joined the force after his honorable discharge.
On "Combat Jack," Pegues encouraged listeners that "your life does not have to define you or your future," the complaint states.
Nearly a month after this podcast appearance, Pegues says the New York Post featured him on its front page as a "Thug Cop" with a "shocking life of drugs and crime."
The splashy Sept. 8 headline allegedly prompted Nassau County Police Chief Thomas Krumpter to pull a "political favor" for New York City Police Chief Bill Bratton and other mostly white brass in the department to go to his home and seize his guns.
Pegues says Krumpter told a Post reporter, "This is my authority to do this and if [Pegues] doesn't like it, he can take me to court and sue me."
The Post did another "Gangsta cop" story about Pegues on Sept. 10, 2014, that quoted the retiree as saying his background made him better at his job, according to the complaint.