No, a cop’s ‘fears’ don’t justify every shooting

The jurors who acquitted Philip Brailsford of second-degree murder last week were told to judge him based on “how a reasonable officer would act, versus a regular person with no police training,” as The Arizona Republic put it.

That distinction was crucial, because a “regular person” would never get away with shooting an unarmed man who was crawling on the floor, sobbing and begging for his life.

Like other recent cases in which jurors failed to hold police officers accountable for the unnecessary use of deadly force, Brailsford’s acquittal shows that cops benefit from a double standard. Unlike ordinary citizens, they can kill with impunity as long as they say they were afraid, whether or not their fear was justified.

Daniel Shaver got drunk and did something stupid. But he did not deserve or need to die for it.

On Jan. 18, 2016, Shaver, who was 26 and lived in Granbury, Texas, was staying at a La Quinta Inn in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb, while working on a job for his father-in-law’s pest-control company.

After inviting two other hotel guests to his room for a drink, he showed them an air rifle he used for work, at one point sticking it out a window to demonstrate the scope’s range.

Alarmed by the rifle’s silhouette, a couple who had been using the hotel’s hot tub informed the staff.

That’s how Brailsford and five other Mesa officers ended up confronting Shaver in a fifth-floor hallway.

The body-cam video of the encounter, which was not publicly released until after the verdict, shows that Shaver, who according to the autopsy had a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the legal threshold for driving under the influence, was confused by the strange and contradictory orders that Sgt. Charles Langley barked at him.

Instead of simply handcuffing Shaver as he lay face down with his hands behind his head, under the guns of three officers, Langley inexplicably told the terrified and intoxicated man to crawl toward him.

While crawling, eyes on the floor, Shaver paused and reached toward his waistband, apparently to pull up the athletic shorts that had slipped down as he moved. That is when Brailsford fired five rounds from his AR-15 rifle.

“He could have easily and quickly drawn a weapon down on us and fired without aiming,” Brailsford said later. Yet neither of the other two officers who had guns drawn on Shaver perceived the threat that Brailsford did.

One of those officers testified that he would not fire based purely on the “draw stroke” Brailsford thought he saw. He would also consider the context, such as whether a suspect is belligerent and threatening or, like Shaver, compliant, apologetic and tearful.

Brailsford said he was trained to ignore context.

“We’re not trained necessarily to pay attention to what a suspect is saying,” he testified. “We’re supposed to watch their actions and what they do with their hands.”

The jury apparently accepted the counterintuitive argument that police, because of their special training, are apt to be less careful with guns than the average citizen would be.

A similar dispensation seemed to be at work last June, when Minnesota jurors acquitted former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter after he panicked during a traffic stop and shot a driver who was reaching for his license.

Even more astonishing was the failure of South Carolina jurors to reach a verdict in the trial of former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, who shot an unarmed motorist in the back as he ran away. Last May, five months after that mistrial, Slager signed a federal plea agreement in which he admitted the shooting was not justified.

All three of these officers said they were afraid, but that is not enough to justify the use of deadly force.

When juries fail to ask whether police have good reason to fear the people they kill, regular people have good reason to fear police.

 

Jacob Sullum, December 15, 2017, NY Post, “No, a cop’s ‘fears’ don’t justify every shooting”, https://nypost.com/2017/12/15/no-a-cops-fears-dont-justify-every-shooting/

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Main Line Girl Sues Philly Cop for Police Brutality

Philadelphia police officer Natasha Chestnut was seen in a 2017 video hitting the teen repeatedly while she was on the ground.

Victor Fiorillo· , “Main Line Girl Sues Philly Cop for Police Brutality”, https://www.phillymag.com/news/2018/04/19/police-brutality-natasha-chestnut-philadelphia-police/#P3ILHsVwofQy5MR9.99

Chicago police union official blasts $31 million wrongful conviction settlement as part of ‘cottage industry’

John Byrne Chicago Tribune

A Chicago police union official on Monday blasted a $31 million settlement for four African-American men whose convictions got overturned in an Englewood murder, calling the wrongful conviction movement “a cottage industry” that uses taxpayers as a blank check in pricey settlements.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/95444086-132.html

Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Martin Preib spoke during the public comment portion of the City Council Finance Committee meeting, where aldermen approved the money for the four men who each spent some 15 years in prison for a 1994 rape and murder before DNA linked the crime to a convicted killer.

As city attorney Jane Elinor Notz explained the lawsuit settlement to aldermen, she also revealed that two Chicago police detectives who allegedly played a part in making the case against the “Englewood Four” in 1995 are now the subject of an investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

Notz said that of the nine Chicago police detectives named in the wrongfully conviction lawsuit, two remain on the force. Those two are now the subject of an investigation by COPA, the agency that investigates police misconduct allegations, she said.

Seven other former detectives named in the suit are either retired or dead, Notz said. A COPA spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

But it was the incendiary comments of Preib, who frequently alleges media bias against officers, that drew criticism from aldermen.

“What is happening in this city is that the civil rights lawyers have carved out a cottage industry in the name of wrongful convictions,” Preib told aldermen. “They look to this chamber as their blank check. Their playbook is simple: they claim police misconduct, get the prosecutors to exonerate, draft a willing media and then manipulate the citizens of Chicago out of their tax money.”

Preib said in the Englewood Four case, it’s “ludicrous” to think a group of detectives would frame the men when the real killer was still walking around to potentially “reveal their frame-up.”

North Side Ald. Harry Osterman, 48th, said it was counter-productive for Preib to make such comments while representing the police union.

“I find (the comments) rather unbelievable as we, as a city, are trying to do everything in our power, and every single community that’s represented on this council, to bring the city together to improve the relationships between the African-American community, the Hispanic community, the police, to try to make this city whole and safe,” Osterman said. “To have those comments come before this body, where we have to pay out $30 million to four men whose formative years were taken from them, I think it’s going to further divide our city.”

Preib’s remarks came as Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in negotiations with the police union on a new contract. The mayor has said he wants the FOP to make concessions that will make it easier to hold officers accountable for wrongdoing as he seeks to show results in his Police Department reform effort. But Emanuel also has been trying to demonstrate he supports rank-and-file officers, whose buy-in he needs to try to combat the city’s persistently high violent crime numbers.

Spokespeople for Emanuel did not respond to requests for comment about Preib’s remarks.

The council committee approved paying a total of $30.99 million to Michael Saunders, Vincent Thames, Harold Richardson and Terrill Swift. They were teens when they were arrested in the slaying of 30-year-old Nina Glover, and were convicted largely on their confessions, but they later alleged their statements were coerced.

Forensic testing in 2011 matched DNA from Glover’s body to Johnny Douglas, a convicted murderer and sex offender shot to death in 2008. A judge threw out the convictions of the four men.

The full City Council will consider the settlement Wednesday. An insurance company is set to pick up about half the tab of the deal, Notz said.

John Byrne, Dec. 14, 2017, Chicago Tribune, “Chicago police union official blasts $31 million wrongful conviction settlement as part of ‘cottage industry'”, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-chicago-police-englewood-four-settlement-20171211-story.html

Police Seen Breaking Man’s Leg, Slamming Head Into Pavement In Newly Released Arrest Video

PASADENA (CBSLA) — Body cam and bystander footage of a chaotic arrest in Pasadena has riled civil rights groups like the NAACP, who called the officers’ actions “reprehensible” and “inhumane.”

Pasadena Releases Police Video of Violent Arrest During Which Suspect’s Leg was Broken from Pasadena Now on Vimeo.

Six body cam and patrol car videos released Friday by the City of Pasadena show two unnamed police officers attempting to subdue Christopher Ballew at an Altadena gas station on November 9. According to police, they stopped Ballew after they witnessed the 21-year-old commit “multiple traffic violations,” Pasadena Now reported.

The incident took a violent turn, police say, when Ballew allegedly refused to comply and attempted to grab a baton from one of the officers.

Additional video recorded by a bystander shows one officer hitting Ballew in the right leg repeatedly while he was face-down on the ground. The other officer can be seen punching Ballew several times before slamming his head into the pavement.

Ballew was ultimately taken to the hospital and arrested on $50,000 bail for “assault on a peace officer as well as several unspecified misdemeanors,” the paper reported.

Ballew told Pasadena Now he suffered a broken leg as a result of the incident.

For their part, Pasadena officials say the officers’ actions were within department policy, though the incident is still under review.

City of Pasadena Spokesman William Boyer told CBS2 News Ballew was initially stopped because the car he was driving was missing a front license plate and its windows were illegally tinted.

“Currently, the whole incident is under review, so there is no timeline for how long that will take. There is no conclusion right now,” Boyer said.

Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell said “while the City is not obligated or required to release such the recordings, […] I believe doing so is in the best interest of the City and that of the public,” the paper reported.

The L.A. district attorney’s office said last week it would not prosecute Ballew on any charges stemming from the altercation.

Ballew’s family said he was not speaking to reporters when CBS2 reached out for comment Friday.

 

, “Police Seen Breaking Man’s Leg, Slamming Head Into Pavement In Newly Released Arrest Video”, https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/12/15/police-seen-breaking-mans-leg-slamming-head-into-pavement-in-newly-released-arrest-video/#.WjbK1QUbroJ.twitter

This Law Makes It Nearly Impossible to Police the Police in New York

Michael Sisitzky, Simon McCormack, April 19, 2018

This week, Buzzfeed released a trove of leaked records for 1,800 New York Police Department employees who were charged with misconduct between 2011 and 2015. These records do not make for easy reading, but they are undoubtedly in the public interest.

For instance, the public has a clear interest in knowing that at least 319 NYPD employees were allowed to keep their jobs, even after committing offenses that NYPD leaders have always assured us were fireable. Those pushing for more police in schools in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, might want to know that three school safety officers found guilty of using excessive force against students were punished with just five lost vacation days. And anyone concerned about false information leading to wrongful convictions might like to know that more than 100 employees accused of “lying on official reports, under oath, or during an internal affairs investigation” were punished with as little as a few days of lost vacation.

Much of this information would have been made publicly available up until recently.  But in 2016 the NYPD suddenly decided, after decades of posting so-called police “personnel orders,”  that doing so violated section 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law, which limits the release of certain police personnel records. The law says that personnel records used to evaluate an officer’s performance toward continued employment or promotion are confidential, and it’s constantly and increasingly used as a tool by the police establishment to thwart police accountability and transparency statewide.

Police departments and unions have argued that, unlike basically every other exemption in the Freedom of Information Law, 50-a categorically blocks release of any portion of these records — even if they’ve been redacted and even if they serve a vital public interest. And their definition of the types of documents that count as “personnel records” keeps growing. Recent examples from New York City demonstrate why legislators in Albany should repeal the law to ensure that officer disciplinary records aren’t disappeared into department memory holes.

As long as the statute is on the books, it will be used to prevent the public from learning important information about the people sworn to protect them.

Currently, the NYPD is fighting NYCLU in court to block the release of redacted judicial opinions in NYPD disciplinary trials. The NYPD cites 50-a as its reason for insisting the records remain secret. Then there’s the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union representing the department’s rank-and-file officers, which used 50-a to win a court order this month that temporarily blocks the NYPD from releasing even anonymized summaries of disciplinary proceedings. The PBA also filed a lawsuit in January arguing that 50-a’s definition of personnel records should be expanded to prevent the NYPD from releasing police body-camera footage without an officer’s consent.

And, right on cue, the PBA threatened to sue Buzzfeed for releasing the records in its possession because the documents would create “the perfect tool for unstable individuals with a grudge against cops to identify and go after police officers and their families.” You can bet 50-a will be the central pillar of any such litigation.

The argument that Buzzfeed’s database will put officers in danger is belied by the fact that police departments across the country regularly release this type of information. In fact, keeping this information hidden makes it easier for the NYPD to avoid holding its officers accountable, which can put New Yorkers’ lives in danger.

One of the officers in the database is Daniel Pantaleo. Before Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold in 2014, he had seven disciplinary complaints and 14 individual allegations made against him. The Civilian Complaint Review Board, the New York City agency that investigates police misconduct complaints filed by the public, substantiated four of those allegations, yet Pantaleo remained on the force where he continues to work today. Pantaleo’s disciplinary history was a closely guarded secret by the NYPD until someone leaked a copy to Think Progress, which reported on it last year.

The NYPD and PBA’s use of 50-a as a shield against accountability and transparency are based on a seriously flawed interpretation of the law, which was never meant to be so expansive. But as long as the statute is on the books, it will be used to prevent the public from learning important information about the people sworn to protect them.

Advocacy groups, the media, and the public should not have to go to court to get a glimpse of how the NYPD deals with officers who abuse New Yorkers. And whistleblowers shouldn’t have to risk their jobs to leak these records to the press. Instead, state lawmakers must get rid of 50-a to ensure that New York police departments aren’t able to continue hiding the ball when it comes to accountability.

 

Michael Sisitzky, Simon McCormack, April 19, 2018, NYCLU.com, “This Law Makes It Nearly Impossible to Police the Police in New York”, https://www.nyclu.org/en/news/law-makes-it-nearly-impossible-police-police-new-york

City Settles Cop Code Of Silence Case After Failing To Cough Up Report

CHICAGO (CBS) — Just before it was supposed to be considered by a jury, the city of Chicago moved to settle a major police misconduct case in which it failed to produce a critical disciplinary report involving the officer until the middle of the trial – years after such documents were first requested, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The families of two men sued the city and ex-Chicago cop Joseph Frugoli, who was driving drunk when he was involved in a fiery crash in 2009 on the Dan Ryan Expressway, killing Fausto Manzera, 21, and Andrew Cazares, 23.

The families contended that Frugoli thought he could drink and drive with impunity since he was protected by the “code of silence” within the police department.

“He drank and he drove, all the while knowing he’d be shielded by the CPD if he were pulled over,” Tim Cavanagh, an attorney for the Cazares family, said during his closing argument, before city lawyers interjected to ask U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall for a sidebar.

Minutes later, the settlement was announced.

Family attorneys declined to release the settlement terms pending its approval by City Council.

“In all cases, we consider many factors, including the likelihood of an adverse judgment, when choosing to recommend a settlement to the City Council,” city Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey said. “This lawsuit is no different, and we will recommend that it is in the best interests of the taxpayers that the case be settled.”

In his closing, Cavanagh continually hammered the city for withholding the “smoking gun” documents in the case — evidence that only came to light four days ago.

Those documents describe how Frugoli was suspended for five days in 1992 after he allegedly punched two people at the First Base Tavern in Bridgeport, grabbed one by the throat, threw them on a pool table and hit them with pool cues. He also allegedly threw glasses and broke two bar stools.

The off-duty cop later admitted he’d been drinking but “was not intoxicated.” A sergeant would testify that she’d reached the same conclusion. But Frugoli was never given a field sobriety test or Breathalyzer, records show. And he was allowed to drive away from the scene.

“We never got those critical documents before trial,” Cavanagh told jurors. “It’s obvious. These documents prove our case.”

The bar fight put Frugoli on a “path of destruction” up to the fatal crash. Frugoli was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2012 for driving drunk and killing the men.

His testimony last week triggered the discovery of the new evidence when the imprisoned ex-cop testified about being disciplined after the bar fight. He got away with a five-day suspension.

“I think the code of silence is so deep, so entrenched, that Joe Frugoli tried to help the city out in this case, and thought it would be helpful to say that he had been suspended in the past,” Cavanagh told reporters after the settlement was reached.

That testimony instead opened a “big can of worms” for the city, Cavanagh said, leading to the documents that attorneys for the families had asked for years ago.

“They proved what we had been saying for the last eight years: There’s a code of silence with alcohol-related incidents in the city of Chicago, and city cops gave Joe Frugoli a couple of passes, and that led to this horrible crash on April 10, 2009,” Cavanagh said.

Kevin Conway, an attorney for the Manzera family, said afterward that there had been no discussion of a settlement until the past two days, after the new documents came to light.

“The Manzera and Cazares families have suffered a tremendous amount,” Conway said. Family members huddled together in the lobby of the Dirksen Federal Building declined to speak with reporters.

The city has repeatedly found itself in hot water for failing to turn over evidence in police misconduct cases. Cavanagh said he didn’t think city lawyers intentionally withheld the 116 pages of Frugoli’s disciplinary reports.

“It’s something that the judge, quite frankly, she’ll still have jurisdiction to look at and see why were these critical documents not turned over during the case. It prejudiced our ability to get all the facts in front of the jury,” he said.

The attorneys declined to say if any sanctions against the city were included in the terms of the settlement.

Asked if the code of silence exists, Cavanagh said there “can’t be any doubt about it.”

“This family has been victimized by it, and it’s time for the city to take responsibility and get rid of it,” he said.

Frugoli is scheduled for release from prison in April 2019.

 

The Number of Americans Shot by Police Is Reportedly Even Worse Than We Thought

Getty

Accurate figures on police shootings in America are notoriously tricky to come by, not in the least because the departments that would be implicated by that data often control its release. But a new report by Vice News published on Monday revealed the number of Americans who are shot by police officers is significantly higher than what has previously been reported.

According to an analysis of 50 of the country’s largest police departments, Vice found police shot at more than 4,000 people between 2010 and 2016, which the site says is more than twice the rate previously known (and still likely much lower than the real number).

Much of the new data in Vice’s report is on non-fatal police shootings. Counting these incidents revealed a stark racial bias, with police shooting black people 2.5 times more often than white people, according to the data.

But the report also found some movement in the right direction. Since the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, kicked off a national movement against police brutality, these shootings have dropped by 20% in the departments surveyed, much of this due to a reduction in non-fatal shootings. According to Vice, this trend “can be traced to a handful of large departments, including Philadelphia, Chicago, and Las Vegas that enacted reforms. In fact, seven of the 10 cities with the largest reductions in police shootings had one thing in common: federal intervention.”

Those outcomes make Jeff Sessions’ decision to halt these federally directed reforms even more disheartening, but they also make clear that systemic police violence isn’t an unsolvable problem.

 

Clio Chang, The Number of Americans Shot by Police Is Reportedly Even Worse Than We Thought”, https://splinternews.com/the-number-of-americans-shot-by-police-is-reportedly-ev-1821185805

‘They Laughed’: Man Details Alleged Police Brutality in Mesa

 

Jose Conde says cops beat him, then mocked him during his January arrest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2018 8:44 AM CDT

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Jose Luis Conde speaks to the media at his attorney’s office in Phoenix on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Terry Tang)

(Newser) – “This is no laughing matter.” So said a 23-year-old Arizona man at a Thursday presser in which he detailed his January arrest by the Mesa Police Department, the Arizona Republic reports. Per CNN, Jose Conde says on Jan. 28 he was searched, then hurled to the ground, “heaved into a wall,” stun-gunned, and “punched over and over by multiple cops. I was gouged in the eye and I was hit in the head with a massive police flashlight.” And then, “they laughed at me while I lay in a pool of my own blood barely conscious.” A police bodycam video has now emerged from the night Conde was arrested, after the car he was a passenger in was pulled over for not having its headlights on. Conde is seen stepping out of the car in the video, which is when the confrontation with the cops began.

As Conde screams, an officer is seen punching him. In a later video taken at the hospital, an officer can be heard saying to a bloodied Conde, “Bless his little heart. Aww. Man up.” Conde’s videos come on the heels of two others involving Mesa officers apparently using force: one in the case of a 15-year-old boy, and one in the case of Robert Johnson, who was arrested in May. Charges against Johnson have since been dropped. In Conde’s case, the police report says he resisted arrest and threw swings at an officer who found cocaine in his sock. Police Chief Ramon Batista says his department is reviewing the case and has called for independent investigations, but that “simply put, the tape released … by media outlets does not tell the full story concerning this arrest.” Conde, who was charged with narcotics possession, escape, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault on police, goes on trial in July.

 

Jenn Gidman, Jun 15, 2018, Newser.com, “They Laughed’: Man Details Alleged Police Brutality in Mesa”, http://www.newser.com/story/260668/mesa-cops-under-fire-again-for-alleged-police-brutality.html

Bill Maher: We Need to Stop Saying Most Cops Are Good Until There’s More Evidence

Bill Maher suggested there should be a movement for people who have been victims of police brutality after a discussion on his show about police brutality.

During a segment on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, Maher called out abusive police officers and the people who protect him on Friday.

“We need to stop saying most cops are good like we know that to be true,” Maher said. “I hope it’s true, but I need some evidence, unlike cops.”

The HBO show host continued and said the violence exposed by the people who post the videos on social media is a problem. He questioned the kindness of police and questioned why there are so many body cam footage and other videos of them “being bad.”

866151214 (1)

Bill Maher attends the Los Angeles Premiere of LBJ at ArcLight Hollywood on October 24, 2017 in Hollywood, California. During a segment on his show HBO Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night, Maher called out abusive police officers in viral videos of police brutality and slammed other officers for not reporting them. Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Electric Entertainment

“The bad ones, not the good ones. Problem is we don’t really know what that percentage is. That’s the question I’m asking tonight – if so many cops are good why are there so many videos of them being bad?” Maher questioned.

Maher said “the blue line stuff has got to go away” because police officers don’t often report abuse of fellow officers. One example he used was the viral video that surfaced earlier this month of a young woman who was beaten by cops while she was at a beach on New Jersey.

“Just in the last month we’ve seen ‘just a few bad ones’ beating the suntan lotion off a skinny girl in a bikini, ‘completely atypical officers’ mercilessly wailing on a homeless guy in Oregon and ‘totally non-representative policeman’ beating a black man in Arizona,” Maher said. “That’s a lot of videos of guys who barely exist doing shit that hardly ever happens.”

The HBO host suggested there should be a “#MeToo movement for the police,” for the amount of police brutality videos that keep surfacing the internet.

“We need a #MeToo movement for the police. If Garrison Keillor has to go away for putting his hand on a woman’s back, perhaps we should decide what should happen when two men pin a woman down in the sand and punch her in the face,” Maher said.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>We need a <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/MeToo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#MeToo</a&gt; movement for the police. If Garrison Keillor has to go away for putting his hand on a woman’s back, perhaps we should decide what should happen when two men pin a woman down in the sand and punch her in the face.” – <a href=”https://twitter.com/billmaher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BillMaher</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/RealTime?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#RealTime</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueToo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BlueToo</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/FB5tVBCWag”>pic.twitter.com/FB5tVBCWag</a></p>&mdash; Real Time (@RealTimers) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RealTimers/status/1007818666295955456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 16, 2018</a></blockquote>
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Maher also pointed out that this was the reason NFL players are taking a knee, not because they did not like the anthem itself. He joked that if anyone wanted to become a police officer, they should not expect for them to be nice.

“If you expect nice, don’t be a cop,” Maher said. “Be a Mountie. Police work is like proctology, assholes come with the job. It doesn’t give you the right to abuse people. You’re a cop, not a flight attendant.”

Maria Perez, , newsweek.com, “Bill Maher: We Need to Stop Saying Most Cops Are Good Until There’s More Evidence”, http://www.newsweek.com/bill-maher-police-brutality-hbo-real-time-bill-maher-980186

Civil rights leader suing NYPD, alleging police brutality during Manhattan march

http://abc7ny.com/video/embed/?pid=3607070

A prominent civil rights leader is demanding justice after he says police went to far in what ended up being a violent arrest, and he believes video of the incident supports his claim.

Now, Walter ‘Hawk’ Newsome is suing New York City and the NYPD, and he wants those involved held accountable.

The claims of police brutality stem from a Black Lives Matter protest back in March on the Upper West Side.

Video shows one officer using his bicycle to subdue Newsome, while another is seen punching him twice. It is unclear exactly what led up to the violent confrontation, but Newsome insists the protest was peaceful.

“I was hit several times with a metal mountain bike, pushed into my chest, pushed into my neck, and hit in my groin with it,” Newsome said while announcing his lawsuit Friday. “I was punched in my head several times. I was slammed to the ground. A bike was thrown on top of me. From what I saw later in video, there was an officer who had his knee on the back of my skull.”

Other officers quickly formed a perimeter, obstructing the view of whatever transpired next.

“I thought they were going to kill him, they way that they were handling him,” said Nupol Kiazolu, with Black Lives Matter. “They were beating him, treating him like an animal, and I was just freaking out.”

Newsome said he suffered shoulder and back injuries during the arrest. He was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration.

The NYPD has not commented on the case.

 

Jim Dolan, “Civil rights leader suing NYPD, alleging police brutality during Manhattan march”, http://abc7ny.com/civil-rights-leader-suing-nypd-alleging-police-brutality/3606849/