Video Shows Black Teen Brutally Beaten by NYPD Officers Was Not Holding Drugs, Did Not Punch Officer
In January, four NYPD officers were caught on tape brutally beating 19-year-old Jateik Reed in the Bronx. The officers claimed they stopped Reed after seeing him hold marijuana and a bag containing crack residue, and that Reed struck police first. Now, surveillance video obtained by New York One appears to show that the entire confrontation was unprovoked -- and that the charges officers levied against the Black youth are false.
Reed did not punch officers as they claimed, and Reed's hands -- but no drugs -- are clearly visible in the video. What is not clear, however, is where the drugs police must have submitted to evidence came from. In March, Reed's attorneys told AlterNet that the not-yet-released footage proved Reed did not hit officers or act suspiciously in any way. But they also said that the officers appear to pick drugs up from the ground.
Reed's attorney Michael Warren told AlterNet the video "clearly indicates two things."
"Number one," he said, "That it was a racially contextual stop, because they weren't involved with any criminal activity whatsoever." Jateik Reed told AlterNet the stop-and-frisk turned violent when when he threatened to file a complaint to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
"They told me they don’t care about a lawsuit," Reed told AlterNet, "My brother has a complaint against them already, and they keep bugging us." As AlterNet previously reported, neighbors in the Bronx neighborhood where the beating occurred say they are regularly subjected to stop-and-frisk and otherwise harassed by police.
Second, Warren told AlterNet, the video clearly indicates that the drugs police charged Reed with possessing "are a package that the officer picked up off the ground. If you look at the video, nobody -- none of [Jateik's friends] threw anything on the ground."
As AlterNet reported in March:
Warren said the two bags containing what police said was a residual amount of crack cocaine, and marijuana, were left on the ground by someone other than Reed and his friends, "or it was placed there by the officers."
Video has already played a powerful role in Reed's case, but it may be far from over. Reed's mother, Schuan, seventeen-year-old brother Jashawn Walker, and a friend of his, were arrested outside of the 42nd Precinct on the same day of the beating. Reed's mother told AlterNet she left the Precinct after officers refused to let her speak to the Captain. Then, she says, officers followed them outside and accused them of slamming a gate. She says she was slapped twice by NYPD officers, one of whom she says called her a "black bitch." Schuan and Jashawn still face resisting arrest, obstruction of government administration, and disorderly conduct charges. Shuan Reed told AlterNetshe challenges police to release video surveillance proving she acted out of line.
While Reed's drug and assaulting police charges were dropped in March, the robbery police charged Reed with the day after the beating is still an open case. Jateik Reed and his attorneys, family, and friends told AlterNet he was not even in the borough the day the crime was committed, and suspect it to be yet another smear attempt by NYPD officers.
The District Attorney refuses to investigate the officers unless Jateik Reed will speak with them. Reed's attorneys have requested a special prosecutor less influenced by what they call an inherent pro-police bias.
Reed's case is one of the most egregious examples of NYPD corruption and aggressive policing tactics. Read more about the details here.