New York, NY -- Video has surfaced of a New York City police lieutenant assaulting an 11-year-old girl on a Bronx street corner. The incident happened six months after Eric Garner’s death but is now being brought to light after a battle with the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.
In the video, the large male cop forced the girl against the wall, then grabs her around the neck and throws her to the pavement, where he back cuffs her before leading her away.
In a sworn statement, the police lieutenant lied about what happened, saying she “and I both slipped and fell to the ground. On the ground [she] continued to flail her arms and thrash her body, preventing me from placing handcuffs on her. We continued to struggle until I was eventually able to place handcuffs on [her].”
As we can see, no one slipped to the ground, and the girl was not flailing and thrashing. It is pure brutality. The assault appears to be another example of NYPD harassment in minority communities, perhaps motivated by racism, all too similar to the circumstances leading to Eric Garner’s death.
According to civil rights lawyer Bob Herbst, who is representing the family, the girl was simply an innocent bystander to a situation that could have been resolved peacefully.
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“This past February, after school was out for the day, some boys from the school were throwing snowballs at a passing car. When the driver got out to yell at them -- and put one of the boys in a headlock -- his smartphone fell out of his pocket and another boy picked it up. Upon realizing his phone was gone, the driver chased down one of the boys and threatened to call the police if the phone was not returned, and when it was not forthcoming, he did, apparently using someone else's phone.
This 6th grader -- let's call her Angie -- and a classmate were walking from school to the bus stop when they saw some of this. They were bystanders who had nothing to do with either the snowballs or the phone. But as the police arrived, the girls exchanged words as to whether they should stay to watch, or go, and then took off running for a block before stopping.
The driver -- the man in the white jacket with the knapsack in the video -- seeing Angie running, suspected -- wrongly -- that she was part of the group and had his phone. He approached Angie and asked for his phone. She told him she didn't have his phone.
Shortly thereafter, as the video starts, this police lieutenant crossed the street, motioning for Angie to come toward him, which she did.”
It seems that running away was enough for the enraged cop to brutalize the girl instead of peacefully ascertaining that she did not have the phone.
If this wasn’t enough for the girl’s psyche, the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York (which prosecutes Family Court proceedings) began a juvenile delinquency proceeding against her. This happened one month after the girl’s parents decided to file claims of police assault and battery and the use of excessive force. Since no action was taken against the girl for four months after the arrest, the proceeding raises the suspicion that the Counsel is retaliating after the family said they intended to sue.
Fortunately, the video was preserved by the noble shopkeeper who allowed it to be copied onto the mother’s phone, and this is what proved the cop to be a liar. The obvious unprovoked brutality will force the Counsel to dismiss the case in six months, according to Herbst.
The police lieutenant’s gross abuse of power and the city’s shameful attempt at prosecuting the 6th grade victim has put the girl in a state of psychic distress.
“Her parents report that she now talks and cries in her sleep, and sometimes sleep walks. She is scared of and avoids the police. She does not want to think about or talk about what happened to her. She stays home more, does not like to go outside, and her relationships with friends have changed as she has become more withdrawn.”