Queens, NY – A 25-year-old student at Nassau Community College was recently caught on video being viciously assaulted and repeatedly pepper sprayed after two NYPD officers from 105th precinct saw him walking his 5-month-old puppy without a leash.
On Tuesday, December 15, Nicholson Gregoire was walking his 5-month-old pit bull outside his 101st Avenue home when he noticed two NYPD officers conducting a stop & frisk investigation of another person. According to the New York Daily News, that is when one of the officers noticed that the dog was unleashed and requested to see Mr. Gregoire’s ID. Nicholson informed the officers that his ID was inside his home and asked the officers if he could go in to grab, which officers permitted.
As he proceeded to grab his ID, officers allegedly began repeatedly ringing the doorbell. It is at this point that Mr. Gregoire claims the official police account is incorrect. Gregoire’s attorney Mark Crawford stated, “The police are alleging that my client answered the door and dragged them inside, to justify coming into the house … They had no basis to enter the premises.”
Nicholson disputes the officer’s version of this event, claiming that it was in fact his grandfather who answered the door. After opening the door, officers violently forced the 87-year-old man out of the way and proceeded to attack the 25-year-old college student.
Police officials claim the horrific incident that transpired was a result of Gregoire refusing to surrender his ID to the officers. However, a video recorded by Nicholson’s girlfriend shows him repeatedly offering his identification to the overzealous officers, even after they are trying to tackle him. The events that unfold are truly indicative of the nature of “justice” in America today.
As the video begins, officers can be seen wrestling Nicholson to the ground, while he repeatedly holds up his ID and tells the officers “here it is” During the struggle the 6’6″ man is able to struggle free from the clutches of the violent gang members and immediately stands up, places his hands in the air and once again attempts to peacefully resolve the situation by offering his ID to the officers.
The officers, appearing completely uninterested in resolving the conflict without escalation, once again proceed to attack the man. The officers continue to struggle with the man and the unwarranted attack spills out into a hallway and eventually onto a staircase. After several minutes of scuffling, several other officers arrive and proceed to jump in the melee.
At one point Nicholson can be seen holding onto a railing as an officer leaps in and tries to violently break his grip, unable to do so the officer then begins savagely punching him in the head, striking him at least 5 times. Still refusing to try and deescalate the situation, yet another officer comes in and begins to mace Mr. Gregoire as a different officer repeatedly says “keep macing him.”
After at least a half dozen other officers respond, they succeed in violently kidnapping a man who was suspected of nothing more than walking a dog without a leash.
After being violently assaulted and repeatedly maced, Mr. Gregoire was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and strangulation after an officer claimed he was put in a chokehold by during the struggle.
Nicholson was released on $2,500 bail, and now says that he intends to file a complaint against the department. When reached for comment he told the NY Daily News,
“I’ve been watching the video over and over. I didn’t use any foul language. I don’t think I should have been arrested in my home for walking my dog. I was scared for my life. They have the guns,” He continued, “They used two full cans of Mace on me like a rabid animal.”
While officer’s resorting to force over such a minor infraction may seem ridiculous, it is a sobering reminder of the role of law enforcement. When a society looks towards a government to “protect” them by passing a multitude of arbitrary edicts, it should come as no surprise that there will be incidents in which people disagree with the level of violence used to enforce those edicts.
The solution to this problem is obvious, yet few seem willing to accept it. If you want to end police brutality, you must stop looking to government to solve every problem. Government is force, and thus has only one tool at its disposal to solve any problem.
Johnny Liberty is a researcher and investigative journalist. You can follow him on twitter @LibertyUnltd