(NNPA)–From a police officer caught on camera allegedly stealing money from a man, to a pregnant woman being slammed to the ground by officers and separate incidents of two young men being punched and kicked while on the ground by cops, the cameras continue to record as police brutality in the city reaches what could be its peak.
However, questions come into play as to whether the NYPD is on a rampage or if the wide availability of smartphone cameras is just uncovering the NYPD’s true activities.
One of the most recent and talked about incidents involves an unnamed NYPD officer caught on video in Coney Island pinning a man against a fence before taking money then pepper-spraying the victim.
Thirty-five-year-old Lamard Joye, a Black man, alleges that the White police officer took the wad of money out of his pocket. The video has since gone viral and raises serious questions about the NYPD’s tactics.
“If there’s another explanation, the officer or anybody from the NYPD is invited to come forward with what it is, but that is what we see,” said Robert Marinelli, Joye’s attorney. “To me, it looks like what would be defined as a robbery.”
“The incident was precipitated by a call [regarding] a man with a gun,” the NYPD said in a statement. “When officers arrived at the scene, they encountered numerous people at the location. As a result of the allegations, the matter is under investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau and Civilian Complaint Review Board.”
“We will aggressively seek to get those out of the department who should not be here. The brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the incompetent,” said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, speaking at the new police academy in Queens last week. “The reality is, at this moment, that there are some in the organization who shouldn’t be here. They’re not the right fit for the NYPD of 2014. There are a few, a very few, in a very large organization, who just don’t get it.
“They don’t understand that when they take that oath of office and put that shield on, that they commit to constitutional policing, respectful policing, compassionate policing.”
However, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said the clip that’s been circulating is too short to allow any conclusions. “The rush to judgment will leave this city with an impotent police department where police officers will be afraid to act and neighborhoods will be left to the mercy of the criminals,” he said. “Resisting and interfering with an arrest is against the law. It is time to stop the amateur video activists who interfere with police operations from setting the agenda.”
Lynch has been in defense mode over what he calls “attacks” on police officers, who, he says, are underpaid and overworked.
Lynch recently called upon the city’s corporation counsel to deny citizens the opportunity of getting paid off their arresting officers by immediately ceasing the practice of settling lawsuits against police officers.
“These ‘quick buck’ cases bank on the city’s policy to settle so-called ‘nuisance’ suits for economic reasons rather than to fight them to conclusion,” he said. “The end result is a cottage industry in the legal community of generating baseless suits for economic gain that have a secondary impact of seriously injuring the reputation of good police officers, who often are not given the opportunity to defend themselves.”
Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News