Some charges dropped in alleged cop abuse

January 5, 2009 4:04:25 PM PST
There are new developments in the case of alleged New York police abuse caught on tape.The video shows police officers forcing their way into a home in the Bronx after they received a complaint about noise.

We've learned some of the charges against the alleged victims have now been dropped.

"I have 4 cameras, and (this one) was recording the hallway," Santiago Serrano explained.

The hallway of Serrano's Bronx apartment was the scene of a wild altercation on New Years' eve involving family and friends versus NYPD officers who responded to a noise complaint there.

Santiago said police did not indicate anything about looking for drugs or guns.

"They just said noise, and that's it," he explained.

Santiago claimed he calmly pulled out his identification, including one that shows he's a licensed security guard. It's all captured on surveillance cameras. Two are inside the apartment. One is mounted over the front door, and another one is pointed at the front of the building. Responding police officers are seen on the video trying to kick in the exterior door and then bolting up the stairs. While officers pull out Serrano, his son Emilio and others are seen blocking officers from coming inside.

"We know our rights," Emilio Serrano said. "We know that the cops cannot enter our apartment without a search warrant.... Not only that, but we were kind of scared for our lives because the cops were kind of acting like savages."

The NYPD says a large intoxicated and belligerent crowd tried to interfere with them. Emilio and the others were maced. He refused to budge.

"They started punching me. They started hitting me, and I'm trying to cover my head," he said.

Emilio still faces a resisting arrest charge, but a Bronx Judge dismissed charges against 4 others, including Serrano and his wife, who showed us bruises on her arm that she said happened that night.

The family says they have been questioned by police internal affairs, asked to try to identify particular officers.

An NYPD spokesman said, "While the video provided the media does not show the brutality alleged, as with any such allegation, IAB is investigating the complaint."

The Serranos said none of them has been arrested before, but what's with all those surveillance cameras?

"I used to own the store across the street. When I closed my store down, I still had the cameras so I decided to install them in my house," Santiago said.

Now, he's thankful he installed the cameras in his home.

"Who knows how many innocent people are going through this, but they got no way to prove it," Santiago said.

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