NYPD

Medical Workers Say NYPD Cops Beat Man Shackled In A Stretcher

NYPDBadge

CREDIT: DAVE HOSFORD VIA FLICKR

I wonder where the rage against Blacks, especially against those who are poor, is coming from in the NYPD and other places across the country?  In retrospect, it’s a rhetorical question…

Think Progress

The New York Daily News has uncovered yet another allegation of egregious force by New York Police Department officers. Emergency medical technicians told the newspaper they witnessed four officers beat a man being carried away in a stretcher in handcuffs, after he spit and cursed at the officers.

Officers responded by punching the patient in the face multiple times, pulling him off the stretcher and onto the ground, and then throwing him back into the stretcher, according to a written report by EMT officers to the Fire Department of New York. All the while, the patient remained helpless, restrained in both handcuffs and foot shackles. An EMT who reported the incident to the Fire Department of New York said in the report that he and another EMT who corroborated the story had to intervene to break up the beating. He said the patient “sustained injuries to the head and face” that were treated in the ambulance.

The EMTs were first called to retrieve the patient from a Brooklyn police precinct and bring him to a hospital on the evening of July 20. The patient was described as “emotionally disturbed,” “combative” and banging his head against the wall.

A representative for the New York Police Department told Reuters on Tuesday that the Internal Affairs unit was investigating the incident. He declined to confirm the details of the incident.

The report comes in the wake of the death of Eric Garner hours after police held the asthamtic man accused of selling cigarettes in an illegal chokehold. The death was deemed a homicide by the medical examiner. Since then, numerous reports have surfaced of officers dragging a woman naked out of her home, putting another man in a chokehold after punching him in the face, and putting a pregnant woman in a chokehold for illegally grilling on the sidewalk. (KS: Emphasis mine)

NYPD drags a 48-year-old naked woman from her apartment as neighbors protest and tape arrest

NYPD drags a 48-year-old naked woman from her apartment as neighbors protest and tape arrest

NYPD outside of the United Nations General Assembly Building | AP

A friend emailed me today and asked me why hadn’t I reported some of the malicious treatment by police officers against alleged “perpetrators” in recent weeks.  I think I wrote back saying that I have in fact reported on police violence in the past but wanted to stick to the tagline of this blog: Sorting out the crazies.

The truth of the matter (and my friend touched on this in his email) I probably didn’t want to offend the readers of this political blog with stories of police misconduct across the nation.  Perhaps there’s even a deeper reason…

So, I have decided to include some of the police misconduct craziness going on across the country (especially in the northeast) perpetrated by poorly trained, unprofessional cops everywhere.   (H/t: LTL)

Hence, the following story:

Salon

Disturbing video captures the NYPD arresting a woman as she shouts that she needs her oxygen. The woman was dragged naked from her Brownsville, Brooklyn apartment by NYPD.

Denise Stewart, a 48-year-old Brooklyn woman was dragged by NYPD from her apartment and arrested in the late hours of July 13, New York Daily News reported. The grandmother had just taken a shower and was only wearing a towel and pair of underpants when NYPD pounded on her door.

The NYPD officers were responding to a domestic violence 911-call made from the Brownsville apartment building. However, according to the Daily News, they did not know the apartment number. After hearing shouts from Stewart’s apartment they banged on the door at 11:45 PM. According to the Daily News, Stewart told the police they had the wrong apartment and attempted to close the door. Denise Stewart was then dragged by the NYPD cops into the hallway.

Neighbors captured part of the arrest on video, which shows male officers struggling to subdue the woman, and Stewart calling for her oxygen.

“For approximately two minutes and 20 seconds, Stewart was bare-breasted in the hallway as additional police officers tramped up the stairs and through the hallway, glancing at her as they passed by,” the Daily News reported. Eventually a female officer covered her with a towel.

Shouts of “Oxygen, get my oxygen” can be heard int he video.

“Ok, ok,” a police officer says, and leaves the frame.

“Her asthma! Her asthma! Her asthma,” shouted bystanders.

Stewart, who has asthma, fainted during the arrest, according to the Daily News.

The NYPD arrested Denise Stewart and charged her with assaulting a police officer — she bit an officer’s finger during the scuffle. Denise Stewart’s 20-year-old daughter Diamond Stewart was arrested and charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a weapon. Stewarts’s 24-year-old son Kirkland Stewart was charged with resisting arrest.

Stewart’s 12-year-old daughter was also taken into custody. According to the police, the 12-year-old had injuries on her face and claimed that her mother and sister hit her with a belt. The 12-year-old daughter later resisted arrest, and allegedly kicked out a police van window, cutting an officer’s chin. She was charged with criminal mischief, criminal possession of a weapon and assaulting a police officer.

Denise Stewart’s lawyer, Amy Rameau, was told by a Legal Aid lawyer that the original 911 call came from a different apartment at the Kings Highway address. The NYPD allegedly arrived at Stewart’s apartment by mistake.

“They manhandled [Stewart] and behaved in a deplorable manner,” Rameau said. “She feels completely mortified. This is about human dignity.”

Rameau also explained that the Administration for Children’s Services investigated and found no evidence of neglect.

 

Related Stories:

HOMICIDE: Medical examiner says NYPD chokehold killed Staten Island dad Eric Garner

Video shows cop apparently putting arm around neck of seven-months pregnant Brooklyn woman

Here’s The History Of NYPD Abuse That Turned Its PR Campaign Into A Twitter Assault

NYPDFrisk

CREDIT: PHOTO POSTED BY OCCUPY WALL STREET’S TWITTER ACCOUNT.

Apparently, it was not the response the NYPD was expecting.  Well done Twitterverse, well done…

Think Progress

The New York Police Department may be showing early signs of reforming its practices, but it still hasn’t come to terms with its image. In a PR gaffe that was seemingly predictable to everyone but the NYPD, the Department put out a call on Twitter for constituents to send positive photos about the Department’s work under the hashtag #myNYPD.

Tweeters documented a litany of alleged encounters that ended with detached retinas, a young black boy with a scarred face, and countless instances of beatings caught on camera:

The campaign had gone so awry by morning that the New York Daily News splashed the headline “Bash Tag” across its front page Wednesday morning.

But even now that Mayor Bill de Blasio has cut back on the rampant stop-and-frisks, Muslim spying, and brutality that became synonymous with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s NYPD, the department doesn’t seem to have shed the attitude that prompted NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to declare last year, “You might read something snarky on Twitter, but I could take you right now to 125th Street in Harlem and young men will stop me for my picture and give me a very favorable and friendly greeting.”

And while one of the NYPD’s biggest mistakes was failing to realize that Twitter is an inherently inhospitable forum for glowing public relations, it’s worth taking a look back at the patterns of systemic abuse that underlie the outrage:

Targeting young black and Hispanic men. The NYPD’s systematic campaign against the city’s young minority men is not just evidenced by statistics that show they stopped more young black men in 2011 than there are young black men in the city. The federal judge who ruled the police department’s stop-and-frisk program unconstitutional also found that the department explicitly targeted Hispanic and black men between the ages of 14 and 20 as “the right people,” and established de facto stop quotas that fueled the pervasive tactic.

Aiming to “instill fear” in residents. The administration that thought stop-and-frisk was the answer to everything developed its reputation in part through a campaign of fear. One state senator testified at the trial on NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program that New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said his goal was to “instill fear” in young minority men. In one incident, an officer admitted during the trial that he told a 13-year-old to stop “crying like a girl” as he handcuffed and detained him.

Inflicting disproportionate violence. In September, NYPD officers shot two innocent bystanders when they were aiming for a mentally ill man, who they were purportedly intending to subdue with gunshots. Prosecutors later charged the mentally ill man for the injuries to the bystanders. In January, an 84-year-old man was left bloodied and hospitalizedafter he was allegedly beaten by police over a jaywalking stop. And during Occupy Wall Street Protests, officers reportedly used violence “without apparent need or justification” 130 times.

Labeling entire mosques terror cells so it could spy on abuse. One of the greatest reforms of the new NYPD under Mayor Bill de Blasio was disbanding the NYPD’s Demographics Unit, which engaged in pervasive spying of the Muslim community after 9/11. But the unit existed until just six days ago, and among its major accomplishments werelabeling entire mosques terror cells without any evidence of wrongdoing, and paying a 19-year-old informant to “bait” Muslims into criminal activity.

Over-zealous policing. While the vast majority of the rampant police stops under the Bloomberg administration resulted in no arrest at all, the most common reason for arrest was for marijuana, even though public possession of marijuana was already decriminalized in New York. The program intended to thwart gun violence snagged very few guns. And other prominent arrests included a 7-year-old who alleged stole $5 from an elementary school classmate, a street artist thrown to the ground for touching the sidewalk, and a real estate broker arrested for being a “smart ass.”

Arrest for documenting abuse. As evidenced by the most recent campaign, the only reason the public knows about many of the most egregious NYPD incidents is because they were documented by photos or recordings. But many individuals have reported arrests and even beatings by NYPD officer for trying to exercise their First Amendment right to record the police. The department even circulated a “wanted” poster for a couple that was legally recording stop-and-frisks.

Small plane makes emergency landing on Bronx, N.Y., expressway; at least 3 injured

A small plane landed on a Bronx expressway Saturday. | Courtesy of New York Police Department

I am quite familiar with the Major Deegan Expressway.  The site of a plane making an emergency landing must have been a shock to all…including the quick thinking pilot.

NBC News

A small plane made an emergency landing on the busy Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx Saturday afternoon, resulting in minor injuries to three people on board, the New York City Fire Department said.

Two men and one woman were hurt when the plane landed near East 233rd Street shortly before 3:22 p.m. ET. They were transported to St. Barnabas Hospital, which is about four miles from the scene, according to the FDNY.

The FDNY wrote in a tweet that the injuries were “non-life threatening” and no cars on the highway were affected.

Two of the injured refused treatment and all three were expected to be released Saturday, according to St. Barnabas Hospital.

The four-seat, one-engine 1966 Piper PA sustained minor damage, the FAA reported to NBC New York. The plane is registered to an owner in South Salem, N.Y, according to aircraft registration records.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management said drivers should expect traffic delays.

Why ‘stop and frisk’ is worse than NSA surveillance

New York Police Department officers monitor a march against stop-and-frisk tactics used by police on February 23.If my boys, who are now in their 40’s had lived during these times in NYC there is an overwhelming chance that they would have been stopped and frisked several times.  Today my  sons and daughters are professionals in their chosen fields, but would they have had that chance in today’s NYPD environment?

The New York Civil Liberties Union has published data that show African Americans and Latinos are the prime targets of the Stop and frisk programs.

The Compass – Marc Ambinder

My black friends in New York, particularly those who don’t live in the fancier precincts of Manhattan, have been harassed by the NYPD in a way that I, as a white guy, will never experience.

They’ve been stopped and frisked, for reasons known only to the officers. Almost every young black male I know has a story to tell.

The news today that a federal judge found this deliberate policing policy to be unconstitutional is a welcome one.

If you have never been stopped and frisked by a cop, it might not seem like a big deal.

So you lose, what, a few minutes of your time. You get frisked, there’s nothing on you, and you get sent on your way. It’s like the TSA.

Except that it’s not. It’s an encounter between powerless citizens and highly empowered police officers. It is scary. The confrontations are often aggressive, which is entirely appropriate from the perspective of the police officer: The person might be carrying. You’ve been singled out for your proximity to a place where a crime might be committed and because of the way you look, the way you move, the route you take. Your attitude towards the police will harden.

I think the NYPD is by and large an incredible organization and that its policing strategies have made New York City immeasurably safer; the city’s minority residents live with much less fear than ever before. But I think the “stop and frisk” policy is overzealous and counter-productive. And I think, in a small but tangible way, the practice harms those who come into contact with it.

The NSA’s surveillance capabilities and even its bulk collection programs do not damage or degrade Americans’ rights; they do not harm our ability to participate in the political process. (I think the FBI’s policies are MUCH more worrisome on that end.) To me, the symbolic harm is enough. I want the bright line to exist to prevent potential abuses by unsavory politicians.

There are many, many important debates to have about civil rights and liberties. Because of the NSA’s size, scope, and reach, I would be very concerned if the potential for willful abuse, and by extension, the potential to do something tangibly bad to Americans (and other innocents) was more than negligible. But it is negligible. Figuring out how to make sure NSA does everything right is important, but there is not one iota of evidence that the over-collection, even if it was broad, was (a) willful (b) not immediately reported and (c) ever detected by the Americans whose data passed through computers it shouldn’t have.

Yes, it would make me feel weird if I knew that an analyst somewhere was able to read my email; yes, I am totally and resolutely in favor of strong oversight procedures that are recognized by everyone as legitimate; but all the same, I am not being stopped by the police, or tortured, or arrested, or asked not to write something, or harassed, or, really, impacted in any way by that over-collect.

We have to make distinctions between what gives us the willies and what hurts or harms us. We have to make distinctions, fine ones, within topics; the NSA is not the CIA is not the FBI is not the NYPD.

Torture is evil. False wars are evil. Companies manipulating the data they collect to make you buy things and vote for people — that’s pretty wicked, too. What NSA does is not remotely close to that. To circle back to the point that’s obvious: They’re the government. They personify executive power. Our skepticism ought to be higher. I totally agree. But at the same time, we should not invent a caricature of what NSA does in order to polarize the debate about it. The facts don’t warrant that, just in the same way that the facts about the history of intelligence collection should absolutely force us to be vigilant.

In the scheme of things, the stop and frisk policy is a greater threat to civil rights than the NSA’s bulk collection programs.

Plainclothes officers in trouble – didn’t recognize off-duty chief

Sounds like a nightmare scenario for the two officers involved…

The New York Daily News

At least one cop has been disciplined for ordering the NYPD‘s highest-ranking uniformed black officer out of his auto while the three-star chief was off-duty and parked in Queens, the Daily News has learned.

“How you can not know or recognize a chief in a department SUV with ID around his neck, I don’t know,” a police source said.

Chief Douglas Zeigler, 60, head of the Community Affairs Bureau, was in his NYPD-issued vehicle near a fire hydrant when two plainclothes cops approached on May 2, sources said.

One officer walked up on each side of the SUV at 57th Ave. and Xenia St. in Corona about 7 p.m. and told the driver to roll down the heavily tinted windows, sources said.

What happened next is in dispute.

In his briefing to Police Commissioner Raymond KellyZeigler said the two cops, who are white, had no legitimate reason to approach his SUV, ranking sources said.

After they ordered him to get out, one officer did not believe the NYPD identification Zeigler gave him.

The cops gave a different account:

When one officer spotted Zeigler’s service weapon through the rolled-down window, he yelled “Gun!” according to sources who have spoken with the officers.

Both cops raised their weapons and ordered the driver out of the car, sources said.

Instead of saying he was an armed member of the NYPD, Zeigler shouted, “Don’t you know who I am?” the sources said.

When one cop reached over to check the identification badge around Zeigler’s neck, the chief pushed him away, sources said.

Only then did Zeigler tell the two officers his name and rank, those sources said.

Zeigler, in his discussions with Kelly, said the officers never yelled “Gun!” sources said.

One cop got into a heated argument with the chief even after seeing the ID, sources said.

That cop was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on modified duty last night, sources said. The status of the second officer was unclear.

The incident occurred as the NYPD is under fire for record numbers of pedestrians being stopped and frisked, the majority of them black or Hispanic. Some 145,098 people were stopped by the NYPD in the first quarter of this year.

Zeigler has headed the Community Affairs Bureau since January 2006. His wife, Neldra Zeigler, is NYPD deputy commissioner for equal employment opportunity.

New York woman solves her father’s cold case murder 26 years later

Joselyn Martinez, who found her father's alleged killer 26 years after his death. Screenshot via CNN.

Joselyn Martinez, who found her father’s alleged killer 26 years after his death. Screenshot via CNN.

I love this young lady’s tenacity…

The Raw Story

A man arrested in Miami last Thursday who confessed to the killing of a New York restaurant owner 26 years ago was caught thanks to the persistence of a daughter who never forgot the man’s name.

Justo Santos was just 16 years old when he shot New York restaurant owner Jose Martinez in the chest in front of his eatery in 1986, according to CNN. He fled the country for the Dominican Republic and was subsequently imprisoned for a year on an unrelated crime. It was during that time the NYPD improperly closed the case on Martinez’s killing.

Joselyn Martinez was just 9 years old when her father was shot and killed, and her family told her to never forget the killer’s name. She didn’t, and about a year ago Martinez began searching online for Santos, starting with background checks and moving on to social networks.

Then in November 2012, she found her father’s cold case file in the NYPD’s 34th precinct archives. Martinez worked furiously for three months before approaching police again with evidence she’d collected online, paying less than $300 to track the man down. Armed with this new information, police acted swiftly and alerted officers in Miami that a fugitive was in their midst.

Santos was arrested last Thursday by police in Miami-Dade County. He’s reportedly confessed to the killing and will be brought to New York later this week to face charges. “She’s the person most responsible for finding her father’s killer,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told CNN. “She did outstanding work.”

This video is from CNN, aired Wednesday, June 12, 2103.

See video here

NYPD: It’s too hard looking for gay-bashers

NY-Knicks

I would suspect that some members and officials of the NYPD have the same mindset as the alleged gay-bashers, hence their original statement that it would be “too hard to find them”...

America Blog

Two gay men were reportedly attacked, apparently for walking arm in arm, outside a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in NYC on Sunday.

The police originally told the victims, one of whom suffered a broken nose, that it would be hard identifying the suspects since so many people were wearing Knicks shirts at the time.

Once word got out about the crime, the NYPD changed its tune and announced on Tuesday that it was looking for the suspected gay-bashers.

I’ve witnessed this kind of behavior before from the police in Washington, DC.  They have ample incentive for trying to get you not to file a crime report.  First, there’s an incentive to have crime go down, and one of the easiest ways to have crime go down is not to file a report at all.  So you’ll have police finding crafty ways of trying to convince victims not to file a

Two gay men were reportedly attacked, apparently for walking arm in arm, outside a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in NYC on Sunday.

The police originally told the victims, one of whom suffered a broken nose, that it would be hard identifying the suspects since so many people were wearing Knicks shirts at the time.

Once word got out about the crime, the NYPD changed its tune and announced on Tuesday that it was looking for the suspected gay-bashers.

I’ve witnessed this kind of behavior before from the police in Washington, DC.  They have ample incentive for trying to get you not to file a crime report.  First, there’s an incentive to have crime go down, and one of the easiest ways to have crime go down is not to file a report at all.  So you’ll have police finding crafty ways of trying to convince victims not to file a report.

Another reason police don’t like to file crime reports is that if they catch a suspect, the paperwork, and the time it takes to get them in the system, and process them, is also a pain.   If you don’t catch the bad guy, you don’t have to work extra hours processing the bad guy.

And finally, if they’re going to through all that extra work to process arrestees, they’d rather do it for a “real” criminal, a murderer, rather than someone who beats the f out of gays.

In big cities, the system, and its incentives, sadly can work against victims (and against good police officers themselves).

Fortunately, NYPD seems finally interested in working on this crime.

(h/t Liberaland)

Cops Pepper-sprayed 5 Month Old Baby, Mom Alleges in Lawsuit

Photo Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Alternet

A mother is suing the New York Police Department (NYPD) after cops allegedly pepper-sprayed her three little children.

A mother is suing the New York Police Department (NYPD) over what she says was an instance of police brutality where cops pepper-sprayed her three little children. Courthouse News Service reports that the mother, Marilyn Taylor, made the claims recently in court about the alleged August 9 incident.

Taylor says that police officers pepper sprayed her three children, who are 5-months old and 2 and 4 years old. She claims that as she was on her way to board a Manhattan-bound L Train, officers stopped her and her husband and accused them of trying to skip a fare. Taylor was pushing a stroller with her two-year-old through a service door rather than the regular turnstile.

That’s when the police officers allegedly pepper sprayed Taylor, and the spray hit her children. The lawsuit claims that “the pepper-spray caused the children to scream out and choked the two-year old, who went into fits of vomiting.”

Taylor was arrested, and she said that cops pushed her down the stairs so harshly that the handcuffs bruised her wrists and lower back, according to Courthouse News Service. The officers who carried out the alleged brutality are named in the suit: Maripily Clase, Suranjit Dey and Jermaine Hodge.

Taylor’s husband, named Dehaven McClain, had to get all three children home by himself.

A day after the incident, Taylor says she “received an adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal, meaning the charges would be tossed if she did not get arrested again within a certain time,” according to the news outlet.

The lawsuit provides more details on the aftermath of the attack. “After the attack, mother and father suffered ongoing eye injuries and all three children suffer emotional harms, and are now afraid to ride the subways and become afraid when they see police officers. The four year-old cried herself to sleep for weeks, and after the incident the two-year-old began waking up in the night crying for her mother,” the complaint reads.

Taylor has said that the officers have continued to harass her since the August 9 event.

The family is seeking punitive damages for what they say were civil rights violations, assault, battery, negligence, and violations to the state and federal constitutions, according to the Courthouse News Service. The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment.

Cops Detain 15-Year-Old Girl For 90 Minutes Over MetroCard Flop

alexis-sumpter-harlem teen handcuffed metrocard

Some might ask what does this post and a previous post about police brutality toward minorities have to do with politics.  Let me suggest to those who might ask this question that… it has everything to do with it.

News One

Alexis Sumpter, a 15-year-old Harlem girl, was detained by New York Police Department (NYPD) officers for more than 90 minutes because they thought she illegally used a student metro card, the New York Daily News reports.

On July 27, Sumpter swiped her MetroCard at the 125th Metro station in Harlem and sat on a platform bench as she waited for the A-Train to arrive. Several plainclothes cops approached her, saying that she illegally swiped the card because they believed she was over 18 years of age.

Sumpter told them that she was 15 years old, but could not provide ID because it was recently stolen at a party she attended.

The cops, she says, did not buy her story and cuffed her. Sumpter told The Post that the officers were quite aggressive:

“They called me liar,” she remembers. “Then they grabbed me by my arms and flung me up the stairs. I kept saying, I’m only 15 — why are you guys doing this?

“They said they didn’t owe me an explanation,” she said.

The officers on the scene called her father who vouched for her age, but they were not convinced. The teen’s mother, Marisol Sumpter, was then called. She raced to the scene with her daughter’s birth certificate and only then was the girl released.

Watch her video here…

The entire ordeal lasted 90 minutes, a fact that puzzles the teen’s mother.

“I definitely think it was over the top,” said Marisol Sumpter, 32, who works in real estate. “They used physical force that was not necessary.”

 

The Alexis was treated at a local hospital because she says the handcuffs caused swelling on her wrists. She no longer takes the A-train, hoping the change in travel will help her avoid the officers that detailed her. She was neither arrested nor given a summons.

 

“I don’t want to see them again,” she said. “I don’t want to have to go through that again.”

 The NYPD is investigating the case.

For more on this story, please go to the New York Daily News.