A New York parks peace officers union is calling for stiffer penalties for a white man accused of assaulting a Black peace officer and insulting him and a Black security guard with an onslaught of racist slurs.
Authorities say on Dec. 28, 2021, Jake Grogan, 21, who is white, was speeding through a COVID-19 testing site above the 5 mph limit at the Greenbelt Recreation Center on Staten Island, New York.
A Black licensed security officer working on behalf of the New York City Parks Enforcement Patrol asked Grogan to slow down, but that triggered a racist rant where the 21-year-old reportedly said, “I’ll f–k you up” while rolling up his sleeves.
According to his report, Parks Enforcement Patrol Sgt. Dornell Grant came over to deescalate Grogan, but Grogan then reportedly spit on the Black security officer. Grant then placed Grogan under arrest, to which Grogan “flailed his body and throwing punches and dirt in [Sgt. Grant’s] face” the arrest statement said. Grogan then went on a racist tirade which included, “You stupid Blackies, it’s not illegal to be racist, you stupid n—–s.”
“We feel like this guy can be a potential ticking timebomb,” said Joe Puleo, President of Local 983 union that represents PEP officers.
While at a NYPD Staten Island police precinct, Sgt. Grant says Grogan bragged about throwing dirt in his face. Video evidence to back up this claim reportedly exists.
Grant says the NYPD desk sergeant on duty suggested Grogan be summoned and released with misdemeanor charges, which did not sit well with the Black security officer, Sgt. Grant nor the Local 983 Union.
“Here in New York, an assault charge is different on a Peace Officer it’s different than an assault charge on an individual. If you have an assault charge on an individual you must show some markings or bruising, you don’t have to have those markings when it’s against a police officer or a peace officer. … They treated basically Mr. Grant as if he was a regular person, Mr. Grant was a symbol of authority,” Puleo said.
Puleo says the union wants 21-year-old Grogan to face more serious charges, including a hate crime charge and an assault charge which carries stiffer penalties.
In New York, peace officers have most of the same powers as regular police officers except they do not carry weapons like guns and tasers. Any kind of assault on a public servant, including police officers, while acting within their duties in New York is considered a violent felony and usually carries a minimum two-year prison sentence.
New York City’s Parks and Recreation Department called the incident, “unacceptable” and said they are cooperating with the NYPD and State Island District Attorney on the case.
The NYPD and the State Island District Attorney did not return Atlanta Black Star’s request for more information at the time of this report.
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