Is NYPD Running Wild? Patterns of Brutality Raise Questions About Mayor's Control of Police
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“I told them we’re coming home -- it’s not like we’re hanging here just to hang here -- and they come out of the paddy wagon, frisk us,” Trevor told me. He said he was standing in the alcove in front of his apartment, unable to see Reed, when the officer searching him hurried away. Then, he said, “They just jumped on my friend, started beating him. I got nervous and pulled out my camera, recorded the whole situation."
At one point, the video Trevor filmed shows an officer approach him with mace. “I guess he didn’t want to be seen,” said Trevor, who said he and Will were both hit with a small stream of mace.
Eighteen-year-old Garnell also watched the arrest and beating from across the street.
“The cops were talking to Jateik,” he told me, while another cop was in the street. “He said something, I’m not sure what. And then you see them start trying to frisk him, put him on the floor.”
But Garnell, who like other boys in the neighborhood have been stopped by the cops regularly for years, said this time was different.
“They were trying to shove him down, but they weren’t trying to do it using their skills. They were trying to do it forcefully, like harm him,” he explained, “They weren’t trying to get him into hand cuffs. They were trying to get him on the floor and really beat him.”
“He was yelling out ‘Help me, help me!’’ said Garnell, but “There’s nothing I could’ve done about that because if I had jumped in, they would’ve beat me too.”
Neither Garnell, Trevor, nor James could identify what cut the officer’s nose.
“I don’t even know why they started getting violent,” said Garnell, “I know they harass us all the time, though, just for being out here. They harass us all the time.”
“There’s been plenty of times he got arrested or stopped, and nothing like that ever happened,” Jateik Reed's 17-year-old brother Jashawn Walker told me.
“Struggling” With Graham
Police initially cited a “struggle” that occurred in the bathroom where Ramarley Graham was shot, but Graham was unarmed, and even Police Commissioner Ray Kelly no longer claims that an incident occurred.
Police also said Graham ran after they pursued him for participating in a marijuana deal, but in video of Graham entering his home, he does not appear to be on the run. The video footage, obtained by New York One, also shows that several minutes passed between when Graham walked into his home and police gained entry. The officers then followed Graham into his second-floor apartment, before knocking and kicking open the door. Inside, they found Graham in the bathroom, where he was shot moments later.
As WPIX reported,
It was the NYPD who was on the run, chasing after Ramarley Graham, 18, who -- seconds earlier -- casually closed the door behind him as he entered his home. The surveillance video is dramatic and telling. The family released it Saturday afternoon, approximately 48 hours after the shooting.
The video clearly shows Graham walking into his home on East 229th Street in the Bronx Thursday, shortly after 3:00p.m. The NYPD then jump into the screen seconds later. Two officers rush toward the door, with one trying to kick down a locked door. He had no search warrant. Seconds later another officer holds up his gun and aims it at one of the residents who -- coincidentally -- was on the side of the home. A total of four officers are seen on the video.