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[Video surveillance of an incident involving the arrest of a Bronx teen back in January has at least two former members of the force agreeing with a growing number of calls for the DA to press charges against officers involved.]
I posted about this video back on March 30th of this year:
Here I thought the police brutality in New York was reserved for just Occupy Wall Street activists. But here a group of New York City police officers were so busy kicking and beating a man with their batons that it took them a little while to realize they were being recorded.
Now that I know the actual story behind the video, it's even more horrifying. What is taking place in the video is the brutal beating of Bronx teen after an illegal "Stop and Frisk"
Jateik Reed, 19, was arrested on Thursday on charges of robbery, possession of marijuana and crack cocaine and assaulting a police officer on East 168th Street in University Heights.
The video shows Reed being pushed onto the ground and receiving multiple blows from batons, punches and kicks from officers.
According to the criminal complaint, after the arrest an officer needed stitches to close a cut on his nose.
However, family members said Reed received a lot worse.
"They refused to take him back to the hospital and they wouldn't give him no medicine or anything. He is sitting there telling me his head is hurting, he doesn't feel good," said Schuan Reed, Jateik's mother. "He has staples in his head, he has staples in his arm, his eyes were black, his whole entire back is black, blue, purple."
Reed's mother, brother and friend went to the local police precinct to ask about the arrest, and they were arrested as well. A criminal complaint says the family members attacked officers, but they deny that.
A friend of Reed's who wanted to help him, but feared he would be beaten as well took the video from above that led to an investigation that unearthed yet another damning video from an outdoor security camera. Now all charges against Reed have been dropped.
Officers swore they witnessed bags of crack and marijuana being carried by Reed. In the criminal complaint one officer is quoted as saying, "He observed the defendant to have on his person, in his hand, one (1) clear plastic bag containing a white, rock-like substance, which he threw to the ground. In his hand, two (2) clear plastic bags, each containing a dried green leafy substance with a distinctive odor, in public view."
Surveillance video from a nearby building shows Reed walking with his hands out, no drugs in view. John Eterno, a retired New York City Police Department captain, says it appears Reed shouldn't have been stopped.
"The officers would have to only go in their pockets if they had reasonable suspicion, if there was a weapon in there. And given what I've seen on the film I'm not sure they had that reasonable suspicion," Eterno said.
The Bronx district attorney later dropped the charges. As for the claims of hitting and kicking by police, the same criminal complaint said, "The defendant flailed his arms, refusing to be handcuffed at which time the defendant struck informant (the officer) in his nose with a closed fist."
It does appear Reed tried to get away. But on the video he does not throw a punch. Still, after the melee starts, an officer appears to be checking his nose. Also in the exclusive surveillance video, a female officer walks over and kicks Reed while he's handcuffed.
Jateik Reed's attorney wants the officers involved in the attack charged with assault, and filing a false police report.
The officers involved have been stripped of their badges pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the video "disturbing."
"Just thankful that we beat this first case, I hope the other cases go as good as this one do. Thank you everybody for your support I appreciated it," Reed told reporters outside the court.
"He was simply in a situation where he was completely vulnerable and he was trying to protect himself as best he could," said Reed's defense attorney.
Reed's lawyer says they intend to file a civil lawsuit against the New York City Police Department and city in the near future.
How many more lawsuits can Mayor Michael Bloomberg afford before he finally reins in his private army?