The New York Police Department has once again been caught on videotape committing another outrage — this time tackling a five-months pregnant woman and slamming her to the ground belly first as she tried to intervene when cops in Sunset Park were beating her 17-year-old son.
Throughout the summer, NYPD officers have been caught on tape on numerous occasions exhibiting brutality against Black and brown New York City residents. The most outrageous was the July death of 43-year-old father Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by a Staten Island officer.
Sandra Amezquita, 43, who immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia, according to the New York Daily News, suffered vaginal bleeding after the Saturday morning incident. The News said her belly and arm still have visible bruises.
“You would think the police would respect a woman that is pregnant,” Amezquita said through an interpreter in an exclusive interview with The News. “I was afraid something happened to my baby. I am still afraid that something is wrong.”
She said she still has abdominal pain from the incident.
The video shows a hyper aggressive officer who clearly had no regard for whether he might be hurting the pregnant woman as he’s applying handcuffs after riding her to the ground belly first.
The baby’s father, Ronel Lemos, told The News he was horrified as he saw his wife hit the ground belly-first.
“The first thing I thought was they killed my baby and they’re going to kill my wife,” Lemos, 50, told the Daily News on Tuesday.
The video also shows the police violently flinging to the ground a friend of the couple who tried to intervene during the 2:15 a.m. incident in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, at Fifth Avenue and 41st Street.
Last week, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton suspended another cop who was caught on camera kicking a street vendor, also on Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park, as he was being subdued by fellow officers.
Amezquita was given a summons for disorderly conduct and her husband was arrested for striking Officer Elvis Merizalde in the back and shoulder while he was arresting the couple’s son, Jhohan Lemos, for possession of a knife clipped to his belt, according to the criminal complaint.
The parents said they came to the scene when they heard their son crying out as he was being beaten by the cops. The teen’s face is bruised and his right eye swollen shut in photos taken after his arrest.
“It is incidents like this that account for police-community relations being at an all-time low in New York City,” said Sanford Rubenstein, a civil rights lawyer retained by Amezquita and Lemos