A 53-year-old gay man was walking down the street in Manhattan last year when he began suffering an asthma attack, so he sat on some steps and pulled out his inhaler to use it.
That was when two NYPD cops pulled up in a patrol car and stepped out and demanded his identification, one of them calling him a “fucking faggot,” according to a federal lawsuit filed by the man on Monday.
When the man did not produce his identification fast enough, the same cop then cuffed him and “repeatedly smashed his face and head into the hood of the NYPD patrol car,” according to the New York Daily News, which first broke the story.
The New York City cop also punched, kicked and choked him until he passed out.
James Rolkiewicz, who was thrown in jail for two days, was advised by a public defender to accept a plea of disorderly conduct instead of going to trial on a charge of assault on an officer, which he accepted.
According to DNA Info, Rolkiewicz had a previous conviction of manslaughter in New Jersey because he was trying to stop his father from beating his mother.
DNA Info also contacted the NYPD who did not have much to say about the beating other than, “We are reviewing the complaint.”
The incident took place on September 1, 2015 in Greenwich Village on the steps of the Greenwich House Music School, about a half-mile from Stonewall Inn, a gay bar considered the launching pad of the gay rights movement in the United States.
“If you have this problem with gay people, how are you an officer in the Village?” Rolkiewicz asked.
Last week, the New York Post reported that a man was attacked in Midtown Manhattan for being gay, but when he tried to report it to six NYPD cops standing around, they refused to help.
“I was holding one side of my face, blood pouring down my hand and onto my white shirt…and not one of them did anything about it,” he told The Post on Monday. “They said they were there for terrorist attacks, not homeless people.”
The NYPD told the New York Post it will now investigate the incident, but not the cops themselves, just the attack.