Body cam shows officer pulling over NYC Councilman Yusef Salaam, exonerated member of Central Park 5

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, January 28, 2024
NYPD releases body cam of officer pulling over NYC councilman
Police say Salaam was pulled over because of his windows' dark tints, which are a violation of state law.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- The NYPD has released body-cam video of an officer pulling over New York City Councilman Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated members of the Central Park Five.

The traffic stop happened Friday night in Harlem and ended after Salaam identified himself as a city councilman. Salaam says the officer never gave a reason for pulling him over, citing the incident as one of the reasons why he did not attend a police ride-along with Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday.

Police say Salaam was pulled over because of his windows' dark tints, which are a violation of state law.

However, Salaam says he was not given a reason.

Salaam went on to say: "This experience only amplified the importance of transparency for all police investigative stops, because the lack of transparency allows racial profiling and unconstitutional stops of all types to occur and often go unreported."

The NYPD released a statement commending the officers for what they called "professional and respectful" conduct during the stop.

This comes as Adams' ride-along was a final attempt to try and convince council members not to override his controversial veto of the How Many Stops Act, which would require police to document interactions with the public.

The bill requires officers to publicly document all investigative stops, including relatively low-level encounters with civilians.

The mayor and police officials argue this would create additional paperwork for officers and hinder their ability to protect the public.

Salaam, who was wrongly imprisoned as a teenager as part of the infamous 1989 "Central Park Five" case, was elected last November to represent a central Harlem district on the City Council. He won his primary election in a landslide.

The victory came more than two decades after DNA evidence was used to overturn the convictions of Salaam and four other Black and Latino men in the rape and beating of a white jogger in Central Park. Salaam was arrested at age 15 and imprisoned for almost seven years. He went on to become an activist and author before entering politics.

ALSO READ | Woman in custody after body parts found in fridge inside Flatbush apartment

Jim Dolan is in Flatbush with the story.


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