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Lawsuit claims brutality by NYPD during arrest

January 29, 2010 3:22:54 PM PST
Prosecutors in Brooklyn are reviewing the tape, but the two men arrested say police went way too far. "I think he thought he was going be killed," the plaintiff's attorney Fred Lichtmacher said.

Surveillance video shows several police officers taking down two different suspects on both sides of the screen.

Naji Benson, 24, is seen in the grainy video as one police officer repeatedly kicks him while he's down. Two others use their fists.

The Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly maintained that Benson and his friend, 23-year-old Davial Rowe, had both punched cops in a melee just moments before the video was taken.

"One officer was punched in the face, the other in the head. There is surveillance video and the incident is being investigated by our internal affairs bureau," Kelly said

But the lawyer for both young men paints a much different picture. He said is "absolute does not" believe they threatened the police officers.

We talked to Davial's grandmother who says she believes the police continued to punch him even after he was subdued.

"They kicked him after they handcuffed him," Marjorie Ford said. "He said they punched him and then they kicked him."

This incident comes only one week after two cops were suspended in the Bronx where surveillance video shows them beating a man already in handcuffs.

As for the latest video from Brooklyn, the police union released a statement calling the action necessary force that is never pretty and saying "the video doesn't tell the whole story and is being expertly used by an attorney for his own and his client's financial gain."

Meanwhile, Benson's lawyer pointing out there was nothing gained by these injuries. He is suing the police for 5 million dollars.

"I think the tape is going to speak for itself. The witnesses -- there were so many witnesses there -- they're going to make it clear what happened," Lichtmacher said.


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