New York, NY – Video footage has emerged of NYPD Sgt. Eliezer Pabon suddenly shoving a handcuffed 14-year-old boy against a plate glass window, which shattered and almost killed him. Javier Payne had to undergo 4 hours of surgery to remove shards of glass from his lung and near his heart.
After finding Sgt. Pabon guilty of excessive use of force, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Trials Nancy Ryan docked the Bronx cop a mere five days of vacation. The punishment was far less than the 30 days lost vacation the NYPD suggested when it filed administrative charges against Pabon.
The lame excuse for discipline is even more outrageous when compared to a punishment handed down to another Bronx officer, Joseph Spina, who was docked eight vacation days for saying he wouldn’t have voted for mayor Bill de Blasio. That incident was caught on film when Spina gave a driver a summons.
With the two punishments, New York City’s police accountability system is showing just how flawed and subjective it can be.
“Javier and his mother are outraged,” said Scott Rynecki, the family’s attorney. “You penalize one police officer for merely stating something verbally and you give him eight vacation days and another one who has been found guilty by a tribunal of using excessive force and nearly killing this young man — you’re giving him five days. What’s the public to think — that it’s worse for a cop to complain about his bosses than it is to lay his hands on people and use excessive force?”
The family filed a lawsuit against the NYPD after viewing the video, which Rynecki says warrants a re-opening of the case.
“There’s no question the video shows there was an assault,” said Rynecki. “There was absolutely no justification for the sergeant to lay his hands on that handcuffed 14-year-old boy. It’s mind-boggling that the D.A. (Johnson) did not even present the evidence to a grand jury.”
Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson did not present Javier’s case to a grand jury because, according to the file, there was a crack in the window. This allowed Johnson to clear Pabon of criminal wrongdoing.
But it should be common knowledge, especially to cops, that shoving people into glass windows can cause serious injury or death. Pabon’s behavior in the video is not indicative of a person in control of his emotions.
Javier was a 14-year-old, 89-pound kid at the time, and was already handcuffed. Javier was allegedly “mouthing off” to Pabon after he was arrested for punching a man in the face, but that is no excuse for Pabon’s ruthless actions.
If you can’t stop from getting violently angry at a restrained kid being belligerent, you have no business being a police officer “to protect and serve.”
Sgt. Pabon will be going on trial in an administrative hearing next month, but a lawyer for the Sergeants Benevolent Association expects says they “remain confident that Sgt. Pabon will be cleared of any wrongdoing after a full and fair examination of all of the relevant facts in a court of law.”