In New York City, the May 17 arrest of a 14-year-old in the Bronx went awry after the handcuffed teen was pushed into a storefront window, shattering the glass and injuring the teen.
Police brutality has become a major concern in New York lately, after incidents reveal citizens suffering at the hands of officers.
Back in April, police were caught on camera kicking and beating a 23-year-old suspect after he was already handcuffed on the ground.
During the same month, the hashtag #myNYPD led to citizens of New York City posting images of alleged police brutality that took place during the Occupy Wall Street movement.
On May 17, teenager Javier Payne became the latest victim of alleged police brutality, although officers and witnesses describe the incident as a “freak accident.”
It all started when Payne and a friend allegedly asked a 49-year-old man they passed on the street to give them cigarettes.
When the man refused, he turned to walk away and was allegedly attacked by Payne and his friend.
He received minor injuries after being punched in the back of the head.
The man flagged down officers who helped him find the two suspects inside the Hookah Spot at 2491 Arthur Ave. and arrested them on the man’s identification.
After Payne and his friend were in handcuffs, a nearby police sergeant approached the scene.
That’s when Payne allegedly shouted obscenities at the sergeant.
The sergeant then pushed Payne against the store window, causing it to shatter.
One witness, 40-year-old Leonard Goodwin, said it didn’t seem as if the glass was shattered on purpose and instead seemed like a “freak accident.”
“It wasn’t done like he was trying to throw a kid through the window,” Goodwin said. “It was like a freak accident. … The sergeant’s face changed. Everyone got scared.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton, on the other hand, still found the sergeant’s actions inexcusable.
“I don’t care what he said,” Sharpton said at a news conference Saturday with Payne’s family members and city officials.
Sharpton said a trained police officer should never “shove a handcuffed child.”
“If you are so agitated that you can shove a handcuffed child out of anger, you ought not be on the police department,” he added.
Payne revealed the extent of his injuries at the news conference by lifting his shirt.
A deep gash was held shut with stitches; bandages covered a cut on his forehead, and another wound from a piece glass that penetrated his lung was also being covered by bandages.
The department has decided not to identify the sergeant but confirmed he has been given a desk assignment while the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Bronx district attorney’s office investigate the incident.
The officers who were present are not under any scrutiny.
One senior police department official said Payne was “verbally belligerent” at the time of the arrest, but it was still “pretty clear” that the sergeant “did something wrong” by shoving him into the window.