A New York City Transit cop body slammed a young man inside the subway system, not just once but twice.
And two witnesses captured the entire incident with their video cameras.
At first, it appears as if the body slam was not justified, but I’ve watched it several times, including stopping the video at certain points, and now I’m not so sure because the young man appears to be holding onto the top of a billboard when the cop appears to be trying to bring his arms down to cuff them.
I’m curious as to what you guys think. No matter where you stand on this, the video shows the importance of being able to record openly without fear of arrest because it shows us what really took place.
One of the videographers, Dennis Galarza, believes it was completely unjustified.
“It wasn’t like the kid was trying to run,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Thursday afternoon.
“He had his hands in the air and his back towards the cop. What kind of resisting is that?”
Galarza also pointed out that the train tracks were only a few feet away.
“The kid wasn’t sure if the cop was going to throw him on the tracks. It was a natural reaction to hold onto the billboard.”
The incident took place last Thursday after the young man allegedly jumped the turnstile without paying a fare. The video was posted today.
At one point while he is being patted down, the young man’s body flinches but that might just be a natural reaction to having his genitals fondled by a cop.
Seconds later, it appears as if the cop is trying to bring his arms down to handcuff him, but it appears as if the young man insists on holding on to the top of the billboard.
That is when the cop grabs him around the waist and body slams him, bringing the billboard down with both of them.
The young man manages to stand up and grab what’s left of the billboard, but the cop brings him down again.
At this point, the young man is sitting on his ass while the cop has him in a headlock, giving him the old, “stop resisting” order.
The young man says he is not resisting and it doesn’t appear as if he is resisting.
But this is one of those situations that could go either way depending on how much leeway you give police officers.
The cop manages to handcuff him without further incident and walks him towards the citizens recording him.
Galarza keeps asking for the cop’s name and the cop tells him to stop interfering, but other than, doesn’t seem to take issue with the videographers.
Meanwhile, the young man in handcuffs keeps planting his feet, making it difficult for the cop to walk him out. At one point, the cop’s badge falls to the ground and he points at it to allow the videographer to get it on video, which he does: Badge number 23400.
Galarza, who has been cop watching for at least ten years, tells the young man to stop resisting, which is good advice. Once you are handcuffed, there is nothing you can to your advantage except just go along with the arrest.
Galarza, who is a member of a community organization called La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park, said they called a press conference today and handed out DVDs of the video to media organizations, including the New York Times and New York Daily News.
He also said five transit cops showed up to the press conference and attempted to attend.
“They’re supposed to be patrolling the subways,” Galarza said. “We didn’t let them in.”
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CARLOS MILLER’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
So if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.
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Also, in an unrelated PINAC matter, I recently went through a hair transplant operation and I’m documenting my recovery on this blog if you are interested. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I’m promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.