Brooklyn residents taking legal action against NYPD after violent confrontation with police

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Brooklyn residents taking legal action against NYPD after violent confrontation with police
Rob Nelson reports on the violent police-involved confrontation in Brooklyn.

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- After violent confrontations erupted between Brooklyn residents and police at a party last weekend, at least five of the alleged victims are now taking legal action.

Cellphone video shows the moment Janay Graham says a cop hit her in the head with a baton Saturday night as she picked up her phone to record the scene.

She says her head was gushing blood, and on Wednesday, she pointed out the five staples it took to fix the wound.

"I immediately just fell to the ground and I just was gushing blood," Graham said.

She says she took out her phone because her nephew had been arrested and was also being beaten by police inside a nearby van while handcuffed.

That is just a slice of the apparent chaos and violence that erupted in Brooklyn over the weekend, especially during family day at the Marcy public housing complex in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

In all, 11 people were arrested there and three cops suffered minor injuries as much of the mayhem was captured on social media.

"There is a new epidemic of police brutality in our city," the plaintiffs' lawyer Sanford Rubenstein said.

The NYPD says the Marcy crowd became unruly, even throwing objects at officers from the roofs of buildings, but residents say it was a peaceful event.

Either way, five people alleging excessive force by police over the weekend have now filed for millions in damages, claiming injuries such as fractured jaws and trauma so severe that one victim says she could lose sight in one eye.

The other violent episodes took place at the Eleanor Roosevelt Houses and along Bainbridge Street.

"These cellphones are currently our only defense against police brutality, and no matter what, you have to stand firm and record," Black Lives Matter New York activist Hawk Newsome said.

Eyewitness News spoke with residents Wednesday at the Marcy Houses who did not want their faces on camera, but showed us bruises left behind by their encounters with police.

"For them to label us as animals and savages, how they were treating us was not right," one resident said.

The lawyer for the five alleged victims is also asking the Brooklyn district attorney to open an investigation.


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