BALDWIN, Long Island (WABC) -- A man who was arrested at a supermarket on Long Island last April, is now suing the Nassau County Police Department for monetary damages, claiming police brutality and false arrest.
Nassau county Police body cameras captured moments Tawheed Brennan would like to forget.
"I felt scared, I didn't know what was going to happen," Brennan said. "I was scared for my life."
Instead, he's haunted every day by the trauma he says he faced at the hands of Nassau County law enforcement.
Brennan announced with his lawyer on Friday that he plans to sue the police department for false arrest and police brutality.
"This detective put his hands around my client's neck and squeezed," Brennan said. "He proceeded to put his hand into his hair and pull his hair back."
Brennan says this all happened while he was handcuffed.
"It's just, it was barbaric," he said.
The announcement comes a day after the Nassau County district attorney dropped charges against Brennan for an incident last April 5 at a supermarket in Baldwin.
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Brennan says he forgot his backpack at the market after buying groceries for his mom.
He later returned to the store to find police waiting for him.
The 23-year-old says there was a CO2 airsoft gun and knife inside the backpack.
"It's like a survival kit," Brennan said. "I go camping every once in a while."
But police, who were responding to reports of a suspicious person, according to the body camera footage, locked Brennan up for assault, resisting arrest and drug
"There was absolutely no assault on any police officer, no resisting," Brennan said.
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He says the drugs, ADHD and anti-convulsant medication, was left in the bag by a previous owner according to Brennan.
"There was no basis for the arrest," Brennan said. "There was no basis for the beating. I think they were profiling me as a young African American."
His mother is determined to get justice for her son.
"I want someone to pay for this," she said. "Not all cops are bad, but this one was bad."
According to data provided by Nassau County, there were 28 reported cases of excessive force in 2021, and so far, there have been 15 reported cases of excessive force in 2022.
The police department and districts attorney's office provided no comment.
Brennan filed a notice of claim on Thursday. He says he's looking forward to his day in court.
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