Responding to a fight that broke out in a Brooklyn Ecuadorian restaurant Saturday, New York City police officers proceeded to arrest an employee not involved in the fight after he told them not to kick a handcuffed patron.
That suggestion prompted NYPD officers to turn their aggression on him, slamming him to the ground and punching him several times before striking his head with a blackjack.
Then after they had taken him and two other men to jail, the cops returned to the restaurant and proceeded to delete surveillance video that captured the incident.
But the footage was recovered with the help of a local activist group called El Grito Del Sunset Park. The recovered video includes the fight as well as the returning cops.
The employee who was arrested is Kevin Cuzco, 18, who is the owner’s son; the woman who called police in the first place.
Now Olga Cuzco regrets ever calling them, a lesson learned daily by people throughout the United States.
As of now, the story has been reported by Telemundo 47, New York City’s Spanish language news station, but it has not yet been picked up by the city’s English language news sites.
— Pablo Gutierrez (@PablogtzT47) November 24, 2015
But that should change now that El Grito del Sunset Park posted the video on its Facebook page and YouTube channel, which is a must-follow for any New York City journalist.
According to their Facebook description of the video:
On Saturday, November 21st 2015, NYPD officers of the 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park Brooklyn assaulted and falsely arrested business owners who called them for help, all caught on surveillance camera. An hour later, same officers returned to the scene, but this time to erase video from the surveillance camera equipment. Eventually, data recovery was used to retrieve video that the officers erased.
The name of the restaurant is El Tesoro Ecuatoriano, rated 4.5 stars by Yelp reviewers. The NYPD, for what it’s worth, has a 2.5 Yelp rating. The restaurant was showing the boxing match between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez.