Family claims teen was victim of police brutality

July 28, 2010 3:10:15 PM PDT
The family of 18-year-old Rahiym Holmes says the Brooklyn teen was the victim of police brutality.

Questions are now arising about the beating of a Brooklyn teenager.

Was he the victim of police brutality?

"He was in a coma, with a bunch of tubes in his system and it just was heartbreaking to see him like that," said Rahiym's mother, Channell Barber.

Those are the words of a devastated mother, dismayed by a run in with police that landed a beloved brother and son, 18-year-old Rahiym Holmes, in a coma for 4 days.

"She had always told him to watch out for danger, but she never expected it to come from the police," said attorney, Alan Fuchsberg.

Attorneys for the family filed a notice of claim in Kings County Supreme Court against the City of New York and the NYPD, accusing the police off excessive force and assault.

Attorneys say on the evening of July 11th, Rahiym and several friends left a community barbeque at Canarsie pier and were walking home to East New York.

It was near the intersection of Cozine and Pennsylvania Avenues that uniformed officers reportedly approached the teenagers and told them to stop.

Though they complied, lawyers claim witnesses describe one officer slamming Rahiym to the ground.

"Rahiym landed on the concrete sidewalk on his head, where he began vomiting and bleeding," said attorney, Leslie Kelmachter.

While the NYPD will only say that the incident is being investigated, the college-bound teen spent the next four days hospitalized in a coma with a skull fracture and brain damage.

He's now been moved to a rehab unit at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

"I feel angry and depressed about the circumstances, and I tried to protect him from the streets," Barber said.