#officerinvolvedshooting #policeshooting #NewYorkPoliceDepartment
A police officer punched and dragged a homeless man who was allegedly taking up more than one seat on a near-empty subway train in Manhattan, body camera video from May shows.
But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is charging the bloodied man with felony assault, punishable by up to seven years in prison, for allegedly kicking the officer’s hand while the cop tried to cuff him on the platform of the Midtown station.
Joseph T., 30, who asked that his last name not be used because he fears retaliation, left a Manhattan homeless shelter with his belongings in a few tote bags. He got tired of waiting for a bed, huddled with others in the entrance area, he said.
It was around 12:30 a.m. on May 25, according to a criminal complaint, when police approached Joseph because, Officer Shimul Saha said, he was “occupying more than one seat” on the near-empty No. 6 train. Joseph left the car and moved to the next one.
Police followed him. Joseph, a hair stylist by trade, said he did not understand why the cops were ordering him to exit the train and refused, body camera video obtained by the Legal Aid Society shows.
“You can’t arrest me for not wanting to get off of the train,” Joseph says as police officers tell him he is holding up other riders.
One police officer, Adonis Long, reaches out to get Joseph off the train. Joseph bats his hand away.
Then, Long tries to pull him up. When Joseph lurches away, the cop punches him twice in the face, knocking off his glasses, and drags him off the train. He kicks Joseph’s bags on to the platform.
UPDATE: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced plans to drop cop-assault charges against a homeless person after watching police body-camera video that shows an officer pummeling the man on the subway.
A spokesperson for Vance said prosecutors were also “continuing to review all aspects of this encounter, including any potential police misconduct.”
And an NYPD spokesperson said the department was “aware of the use of force incident and it is under review.”
Yet prosecutors chose not to scrap misdemeanor resisting arrest charges against the subway rider, and said he’d be offered a deal in which the charges could be dismissed in six months.
Vance’s office declined to say why he believed the resisting-arrest charges were still warranted.
Read more here: https://www.thecity.nyc/2020/7/14/21324745/video-shows-cop-punching-man-on-manhattan-subway
Read update here: https://www.thecity.nyc/2020/7/15/21326418/da-vance-drops-assault-charges-against-subway-rider-punched-by-nypd
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