New York, NY – A New York Police Department (NYPD) officer infamous for giving her boss a lap dance at their precinct’s holiday party has been suspended without pay after she went off on New Jersey state troopers about her brother-in-law’s drunk driving arrest.
The incident occurred on May 8 when NYPD Officer Vera Mekuli barged into the New Jersey State Police barracks in Totowa, New Jersey, at 2 a.m. smelling of alcohol, the New York Post reported.
Officer Mekuli’s brother-in-law had been arrested after troopers saw him urinating on the side of a highway, the New York Daily News reported.
The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau report on the incident said that Officer Mekuli, who was in “bare feet” and wearing a dress, identified herself as an NYPD officer and demanded to know why her brother-in-law had been arrested.
She demanded to speak to one of the troopers who had made the arrest, the New York Post reported.
A state police staff sergeant told Officer Mekuli that he had “procedures to follow” and she could not talk to the troopers who had made the arrest, according to the internal affairs report.
The report said Officer Mekuli became irate and demanded to talk to a lieutenant, the New York Post reported.
Then she started filming the staff sergeant and informed him, “you guys are talking out of your ass; none of this was done correctly,” according to internal affairs.
The NYPD’s report said the entire exchange had been recorded on New Jersey state troopers’ bodycams, the New York Post reported.
Troopers asked if anyone in Officer Mekuli’s group wanted to file a formal complaint but they opted not to.
Regardless, the incident was reported to the New Jersey State Police Office of Professional Standards and that office determined that the troopers had followed procedure, the New York Post reported.
New Jersey State Police also notified NYPD of the incident and the internal affairs investigation into Officer Mekuli’s alleged misconduct was launched.
The report said investigators had relied heavily in the bodycam video of the incident, the New York Post reported.
Officer Mekuli, who is assigned to the 44th Precinct, was suspended without pay on May 27, the Daily Mail reported.
She joined the NYPD in February of 2021 and is still on probationary status.
NYPD has not said how long Officer Mekuli’s suspension will last and what additional consequences she may face, the Daily Mail reported.
The rookie officer became notorious after a video of her performing a lap dance on her lieutenant went viral just before Christmas.
The now-infamous incident occurred on Dec. 16, 2021 at the NYPD 44th Precinct’s Christmas party at Rory Dolan’s in Yonkers, the Daily Mail reported.
Officer Mekuli said in a video she posted to social media that everyone was just having a good time at the $75-per-person open-bar party when she pushed her boss, NYPD Lieutenant Nick McGarry, into a chair and gave him a lap dance on a dare, TMZ reported.
“Me, I’m the life of the party, when it comes down to it… there was a chair… me, I took on the dare and I grabbed the lieutenant…” Officer Mekuli explained in the video afterwards.
The night of the party, Officer Mekuli was wearing a very short miniskirt with a midriff-baring top and knee high black boots as she straddled Lt. McGarry on the chair.
The video showed the rookie officer grinding on her supervisor and wiggling her butt in his face before turning back to straddle him again.
Lt. McGarry placed his hands on Officer Mekuli’s bare thighs as she backed against him and then put his hands around her waist and onto her bare back when she turned to straddle him yet again.
The video showed that other officers watching had mixed reactions that ranged from amusement to shock and horror.
Somebody at the party posted the video to social media and it was quickly brought to the attention of NYPD leadership, the Daily Mail reported.
Lt. McGarry was immediately transferred to Transit District 12 in the Bronx.
An NYPD source told the New York Post that the lieutenant “knows he f-ked up” but neither Lt. McGarry nor Officer Mekuli are facing any charges in connection with the inappropriate behavior because the police department doesn’t have any policies regarding fraternization between ranks.
Despite the lack of professional consequences for her actions, Officer Mekuli took to social media to apologize, TMZ reported.
“I do want to apologize to the lieutenant’s wife,” she said. “I am sorry, truly I am. And I really hope it didn’t cause too much damage in your marriage or in your personal life. I know it’s been rough, I’ve been seeing the articles and I’ve been seeing pictures of you guys all over the newspapers as well as mine, and it wasn’t meant to be like this – I really had no knowledge of your marriage.”
The officer was referencing an embarrassing encounter that occurred when Lt. McGarry’s wife, Melissa McGarry, lost her temper on reporters in front of their home in Orange County last week.
The New York Post reported that the lieutenant had to physically restrain his wife from charging at a reporter and photographer as she screamed obscenities at them.
Officer Mekuli’s father blasted Lt. McGarry and said that married police official “should know better” than to behave that way with a woman who worked for him.
The angry father also said he planned to sue the lieutenant, the New York Post reported.
His daughter, however, seemed to take responsibility for the entire debacle in her video, TMZ reported.
“It was supposed to be for fun, s–ts and giggles, and I feel like I completely ruined I guess his picture as a lieutenant, as a boss,” Officer Mekuli said in the video. “I know it doesn’t look good on him at all. But I do apologize.”
The rookie officer said the whole thing snowballed quickly.
She said she hasn’t been into the precinct since the lap dance went public and expressed concern about not being taken seriously if people recognized her in uniform as the woman from the video.
Officer Mekuli said many of her fellow officers were supportive and that she had been allowed to work from home the week after the party; however, she also said that she felt judged by some and she didn’t think that was fair.
“I feel like I shouldn’t be judged for anything of that sort because of a lap dance that I did off duty and not in uniform,” she said in the video. “I feel like just because, mainly, I’m a female dressed the way I was, being a rookie, things were different.”
“Had I been a man doing it, I feel like it would have been more of a joking matter and it would have stayed in house versus go public the way it did with me,” the officer added.