Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Police Abuse in the Bronx- A Teacher's Story

" Yesterday, I was forcibly taken into custody today by the police. I am angry. I'm also a peaceful second grade teacher that does nto have a record and this is my story:

I was riding my bike to go to a meeting on Grand Concourse. I got to a busy intersection. As I was walking my bicycle across the street toward Poe Park, I noticed a large (20+) group of police officers. I was curious about the large police presence, so I asked one of the officers, “What is happening? Is everything ok?” One officer in the crowd stated, “I can help.” A different officer said, “Get off the sidewalk.” I muttered, “Ok” and began to walk away when one of the officers shouted, “Didn’t you hear me?” Before I could respond, he threw me to the ground, while about 3 other officers were surrounding me. I asked, “What did I do?” The officer that threw me down said, “Shut up, Stupid!” At that point, he put handcuffs on me very tightly. I said, “You’re hurting me!” He said, “Shut up” and picked me up and threw me against the police car, while holding my face against the side of the car. I said, “You cannot bring me anywhere without charging me and reading my rights.” I made my body limp, while one officer held me up. Another police officer then started searching me by looking in my pockets. I said, “You have no right to search me. Stop searching me.” He laughed and threw me in the back of the car. I still had my bicycle helmet on. It was choking me. I said, “I can’t breathe.” An officer sat me up and unbuckled the helmet strap. I asked again, “What am I charged with?” The officer that took me into custody, along with his partner, told me to shut up. I asked if I had any rights and they said, “Shut up.” I asked, “Can I make a phone call?” They said, “Shut up.” I said, “I would like to make a phone call.” The police officers both said, “You can make a call at the station.” 

We got into the station and I asked, “What am I charged with? Why am I here?” One of the officers pressed my face against the counter. At this point, several other officers in the 52nd Precinct began laughing. One said, “Look at this wise guy.” My pockets were emptied and my backpack was searched. I said, “I am a school teacher and I am peaceful. I would like to go home. I have done nothing wrong and I demand to be let go.” One of the officers said, “You are a prisoner.” I said, “I would like to make a phone call.” Two officers then escorted me back to the cell block. I was still wearing handcuffs. They opened the door and threw me in. One of the officers said, “Get in there with the rest of the worthless nothings.” I told them that the handcuffs were cutting off my circulation. They didn’t say anything. I stayed in the cell, sitting on the floor with my circulation getting cut off for about an hour. An officer named Gomez (Badge number 17655?) asked, “How many times did the police ask you to move?” I said, “Once.” He said, “You’re really sticking to your guns.” I said, “I’d like to make a phone call.” He said, “Shut up.” 

The two officers that brought me to the station came back. They said, “You’re ready to get out.” They escorted me to the front. I said, “I want to make a phone call.” The officers said, “Quit acting so stupid. You’re going back to the cell if you keep acting so stupid.” I turned to the presiding desk officer (white shirt) and asked, “Can I make a phone call?” He said, “After you get your summons, you can make a phone call.” I said, “Let re-ask. Can I make a phone call before I get the summons?” He smiled and said to the officers with me, “He wants to make a phone call. Let him make a phone call.” The officers then grabbed me and said, “Let’s go make a phone call,” tightened the handcuffs, and threw me back in the cell. I said, “I’d like to make a phone call. Can you take these handcuffs off?” The officers walked away. 

About a half-hour later, the officers came back. Gomez said, “Do you still want to make a phone call?” I said, “Yes.” Then, he said, “There you go acting stupid again.” He turned to the others in the cell and said, “Talk some sense into this guy.” The other people in the cell suggested that I take the summons so I could go home. I said that I wanted the handcuffs off. The officers said “Shut up. Do you want to go home?” I said, “Yes.” I got back to the front desk. The presiding officer said, “You can make your phone call once you leave here. Call your lawyer then. You need to show up to court on July 26th for disorderly conduct.” I asked, “What was I arrested for?” He said, “You were not arrested. You were taken into custody to be given a summons.” I asked, “Why was I taken into custody?” The officer said, “To get a summons.” 

The two officers that took me to the station walked me out. They said, “Check to make sure that you have everything.” I did. They asked, “You good?” I said nothing. I sat on the sidewalk. One of the officers said, “I’m hungry. I want pizza.” 

I am in shock, but I know that I need to take action to rectify this injustice. I would appreciate any help that you might be able to offer

May 15, 2013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is absolutely ridiculous. I understand it has been two months now, but you need to, if you already haven't, call your lawyer. A complaint needs to filed and there is cameras that would have caught everything. Hope justice is served.

- Z