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Jai Aiken
(1967 - living) U.S.A.

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In December 2004, a confidential informant accused Officer Jai Aiken of being a gun runner and drug dealer. After nine months and 3,000 man-hours, the IAB couldn't substantiate the charges. So in August 2005, the rat squad sent an undercover agent to a popular cruising spot near City College in Harlem to try to get the goods on the openly gay Aiken, who had a clean record during his 13 years on the force.

The officer later testified that whenever he spoke about guns or drugs, all Aiken wanted to talk about was sex. (An IAB sergeant leading the Aiken probe testified that it was first time he could recall that an undercover cop posed as a potential gay lover.)

Five months into the new operation, the focus on guns and drugs was dropped. Instead, the undercover cop sold Aiken an iPod for $150. Then, in February 2006, he sold Aiken a $3,000 flat-screen television for $1,200, saying he needed the money to move his mother out of the projects. IAB officials said it was clear that Aiken knew these items were supposedly stolen. Aiken tells that the undercover explained that he had a friend who worked at Best Buy and was getting a store discount.

In February 2007, a Brooklyn jury sided with Aiken, acquitting him on charges of attempted criminal possession of stolen property and attempted grand larceny. Nevertheless, Aiken, 40, was fired in December after an NYPD judge found him guilty of similar departmental charges stemming from the IAB investigation. Aiken has since filed a $15 million suit against the NYPD for wrongful imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

"This case demonstrates that homophobia is very much alive and well in the department despite enormous progress," said Matt Forman, president of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Aiken has since checked himself into a mental hospital.


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