In January, four NYPD officers were caught on tape brutally beating 19-year-old Jateik Reed in the Bronx. The officers claimed they stopped Reed after seeing him hold marijuana and a bag containing crack residue, and that Reed struck police first. Now, surveillance video obtained by New York One appears to show that the entire confrontation was unprovoked — and that the charges officers levied against the black youth are false.
Reed did not punch officers as they claimed, and Reed’s hands — but no drugs — are clearly visible in the video. What is not clear, however, is where the drugs police must have submitted to evidence came from. In March, Reed’s attorneys told AlterNet that the not-yet-released footage proved Reed did not hit officers or act suspiciously in any way. But they also said that the officers appear to pick drugs up from the ground.
Reed’s attorney Michael Warren told AlterNet the video “clearly indicates two things.”
“Number one,” he said, “That it was a racially contextual stop, because they weren’t involved with any criminal activity whatsoever.” Jateik Reed told AlterNet the stop-and-frisk turned violent when when he threatened to file a complaint to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
“They told me they don’t care about a lawsuit,” Reed told AlterNet, “My brother has a complaint against them already, and they keep bugging us.” As AlterNet previously reported, neighbors in the Bronx neighborhood where the beating occurred say they are regularly subjected to stop-and-frisk and otherwise harassed by police.
Second, Warren told AlterNet, the video clearly indicates that the drugs police charged Reed with possessing “are a package that the officer picked up off the ground. If you look at the video, nobody — none of [Jateik’s friends] threw anything on the ground.”
Fox 5 photographer Roy Isen was hit in the eyes by mace, and Fox 5 reporter Dick Brennan was hit by what he believes was an officer’s baton. Do they get it yet?
Imagine you are part of a small group of women walking down the street in whatever town you call home. Suddenly, a half dozen men carrying guns swarm around you with a large net and hold you captive. Without provocation or warning, two of the men rush toward you and spray weaponized chemicals into your eyes and mouth that cause searing pain like you’ve never felt before in your life. You fall to the sidewalk shrieking in agony. No one is able to help you, because the men are all still holding you against your will.
In any other context, these men are criminals engaged in a conspiracy of false imprisonment and aggravated assault. Even in the context of the current Wall Street protests, they are little more than a brute squad. Personally, I don’t care that they’re wearing a badge. They may claim to be law enforcement, but they are enforcing no laws. They are doing what storm troopers have always done in the name of order, and they act without any fear of reprisal.
Thing is, cowards like that wouldn’t know legitimate civil unrest if it was shooting at them from the rooftops. Americans used to chase down unjust authority figures and tar and feather them in the streets. The least these non-violent protestors could do is document the badge numbers of the officers committing these acts of brutality. Give us their names.
They are just men, after all.
Fuck the police.
(video via cognitivedissonance)
Excuse me, Kelly: 1) who can afford a car (at least one that isn’t from a bankrupt company and can actually stop on command) in this economy; and 2) I’ve already seen the return of squeegee men down by the Holland Tunnel last week!
Interesting to see the commenters bring up the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s as more of a factor than the increase in police presence… Will this also mean that the Disnification of Manhattan will revert back to the 1990’s too Kelly? How about the club or hip hop scene?