Brooklyn man talks about chokehold settlement for the first time

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Kevin Dennis-Palmer Sr. received $75,000 in a settlement from New York City over a chokehold applied to him back in 2013.

BROWNSVILLE (WABC) -- Before Eric Garner, there was Kevin Dennis-Palmer Sr. who says police beat, maced, and applied a chokehold on him during a traffic stop.

After recently settling a lawsuit with the city for $75,000, he's now speaking out for the first time.

"I asked the officer asked why I'm being stopped officer. He says, 'You give me your license and registration and then I'll tell you why you're stopped,'" Dennis-Palmer said.

It was February 2013 when Kevin Dennis-Palmer Sr. says he was stopped in his car by two NYPD officers outside his Brownsville home. When he asked what he did wrong, Kevin says things quickly took an ugly turn when police allegedly beat and maced him before placing him in a chokehold.

"I step out of the vehicle with my hands up, I want to show them I'm not confrontational, I'm not posing a threat to them. I was grabbed by the back of the collar on my sweater and I was slammed to the floor and that's when I can't even count how many officers jumped on me," Dennis-Palmer said.

Kevin and his lawyer filed a lawsuit against the city just a month before Eric Garner was wrestled to the ground with a chokehold by police on Staten Island last July. While the city hasn't openly admitted any wrongdoing, a law department spokesman says Kevin's case was reviewed and a settlement was determined to be in the city's best interests.

It's a small victory, however Kevin and his attorney still worry the same thing could happen again.

"The fact that they were willing to come to a settlement arrangement, I don't take it as they were just throwing money at the problem. I look at it like yeah, OK, they're admitting that they're wrong and they don't want this to do any further," Dennis-Palmer said.

Mr. Dennis-Palmer says he doesn't hold any ill will against police and in fact, his father used to be a detective with the NYPD. But, he calls this an unfortunate case he doesn't want to see happen to anyone else.

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