“We got you motherf**ker, now you’re going to jail for assaulting an officer....You thought we weren’t going to get you”
Bronx, NY -- Jose LaSalle, 44, runs a neighborhood patrol group who watches the police called Copwatch Patrol Unit (CPU).
On September 28 around 12:20 am, he was on patrol when, according to LaSalle an NYPD cop shined a light in his face.
LaSalle then approached the three officers with his Samsung Galaxy S5 recording. He asked for their names and badge numbers and cited the section of the NYPD guide which requires them to provide that information, according to LaSalle.
Instead of giving their information, LaSalle says, they demand his ID. He asked what he had done wrong and why they needed his ID and then the assault began.
“So one grabs one arm and the other grabs the other arm,” he said to the NY Post. “My face slams against the gate. I felt something snap in my shoulder.”
According to the Post:
He didn’t struggle and let the officers take his phone and put him in cuffs, he said.
“We got you motherf-----, now you’re going to jail for assaulting an officer,” one of the officers said, according to the paperwork filed last week.
“You thought we weren’t going to get you,” one of them said, according to LaSalle.
LaSalle told a sergeant that he had been assaulted by the cops and that he needed medical attention for his shoulder. Instead, he was taken to a back room of the station on Ryer Ave. and strip-searched, he claims.
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LaSalle says he spent four hours in a holding cell after the assault and strip-search. He was then released but given citations for jaywalking and possession of a scanner. It is not illegal to possess a scanner in New York unless you are driving or committing a crime; the NYPD will have a hard time proving that LaSalle was carrying a scanner so he could go on a jaywalking crime-spree.
His phone, with the recording of the interaction, was not returned to him.
LaSalle now plans to sue the NYPD for $500,000.
In 2011, LaSalle's 16-year-old stepson Alvin, who lived in Harlem, was stopped by NYPD officers and recorded audio of the interaction. Officers can be heard threatening to break Alvin’s arm, punch him in the face and arrest him “for being a f***ing mutt.”
It was one of the first public documentations of stop-and-frisk in action. And after LaSalle gave the recording to to a filmmaker, it quickly went viral.
Since this horrid criminal action on behalf of the NYPD, LaSalle has dedicated himself to preventing any further tragedies by starting CPU and holding cops in his neighborhood accountable.
"We feel that through CopWatch, in our own way, community [members] and activists like ourselves could make police officers accountable for their actions, because we'll put them on social media and we'll blast it," he said.
Unfortunately LaSalle has just shown us how some inside the NYPD react to being held accountable.