The teenage victim and several eye witnesses are saying that officers of the New York City Police Department acted with excessive force when subduing the 19-year old outside a youth center in Queens last month. On January 8th, Robert Jackson was arrested outside the Flushing YMCA. He was confronted by police several officers after he allegedly became vocal and “spewed profanities” at the patrolmen.
Two officers then put Jackson on the ground after he “ignored requests to show his hands.” Jackson says that the men punched him multiple times and repeatedly mashed his face into the asphalt. A third officer entered the fray followed several moments later by even more uniformed and plain clothes officers. The whole altercation was recorded anonymously and the video uploaded to YouTube. At one point after Jackson was already on the ground, one of the officers in plain clothes appeared to kick him – eliciting responses from the crowd of bystanders. Shortly thereafter, additional officers responded and closed ranks around Jackson, blocking him from view.
The officers allegedly discovered a baggie with a small amount of marijuana in Jackson’s pocket. He was later charged with possession in addition to “disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration” according to a report in the New York Post.
Jackson admitted later that he was shocked to see the damage to his face. The asphalt had peeled away the skin from the young man’s face, leaving a ragged crescent-shaped wound that ran from his left cheekbone to his jaw. Witnesses and critics say that the NYPDs reaction was the definition of excessive force verging on police brutality.
When local TV station WPIX contacted the NYPD for clarification on the matter, they were told that the brutality complaints had been turned over to New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. The CCRB was designed “to encourage members of the community to file complaints when they feel they have been victims of police misconduct.”
In 2010, the CCRB received over 6,000 complaints from citizens. Over 3,000 of those involved allegations of excessive force by NYPD officers. Though Police Commissioner Kelly has overturned CCRB rulings in the past, the NYPD upheld 80% of the CCRB’s recommendations for disciplinary action in 2010.
If you or a loved one has been victim of NYPD police brutality or excessive force, contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in civil rights violation to learn all your rights. You or your loved one may be entitled to fair and adequate compensation under the law.