This video is unavailable.
7-19-2012 COPWATCH Films NYPD Transit Cop Assaulting Youth Sunset Park
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Published on Jul 26, 2012
Your camera can stop NYPD abuse
See a stop-and-frisk? Record it on your phone
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
PUBLISHED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2012, 4:24 AM
UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2012, 4:24 AM
19-year-old Sean Pagan discusses what happened to him at the 45th St R train stop.
There's nothing "clever," as a recent editorial in these pages suggested, about witnessing, recording and describing the use of excessive force on a civilian by a police officer. But that's what I did last Thursday after I saw a man with a badge and a uniform body slam a teenager on a Sunset Park subway platform. (To see the video and decide for yourself, visit NYDailyNews.com/opinion.)
I am proud to have exposed that officer's conduct for the world to see, and I urge others who are concerned about NYPD stop-and-frisk practices to do the same.
Most of us now carry cell-phone cameras in our pockets. We have access to YouTube, which is a free and easy platform for sharing video. We should use these tools daily, if necessary, to keep police officers honest.
The police work for us — and they should know that we are always watching. In fact, I dread to think what else might have happened on the subway platform that day if I hadn't been taping.
Far too many New Yorkers, mostly black and Latino, know exactly how 19-year-old Sean Pagan said he felt as he was being groped and then body slammed by Police Officer Michael O'Brien. Though unknown numbers of others have faced similar treatment at the hands of the NYPD, the majority often lack witnesses and other resources to support their allegations of police misconduct or abuse.
We can change that.
At Trinity Lutheran Church, where I am an active member and the Rev. Samuel Cruz is senior pastor, we strongly believe that monitoring the police contributes to public safety — which is why Trinity's new project, La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park, is working with other groups to provide training to members of its congregation and the community.
We'll be arming members of our congregation with cameras. We urge other congregations and groups to do the same.
Often and not surprisingly, the NYPD rushes to defend completely unjustifiable and inexcusable acts. When people of color are mistreated and abused, the department rushes to malign the character of the victims.
That happened in the Pagan case; police authorities were quick to tell the media he had a record of arrests including graffiti vandalism, criminal mischief and phone harassment.
As though that in any way excuses what the officer did.
This is akin to the tired, sexist and immoral defense arguments used against rape victims (i.e.: a woman wore provocative clothing, so she deserved to be raped). While women continue to fight against such unscrupulous defense of sexual predators, we need to also actively oppose the unscrupulous protection of predators within the NYPD.
All New Yorkers, regardless of who they are or where they live, should be allowed to walk our streets without fearing the very law enforcement that is supposed to protect us.
We must all be aware of the sad and repugnant truth:
In 2011, NYPD officers conducted 685,724 street stops. At this point, more than 4 million people have been stopped under this administration.
No gun was retrieved in 99.8% of stops. Nine out of 10 people stopped, in fact, are neither arrested nor ticketed. Yet the number of stops of young black men exceeded the entire city population of young black men.
Obviously, not every stop-and-frisk is accompanied by excessive force or brutality. But the very act of stopping and frisking the same subset of New Yorkers so many times takes its toll emotionally and mentally. In too many neighborhoods, getting stopped and frisked is a rite of passage.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the police officer in the Pagan video acted in classic textbook fashion. If so, we must ask:
Who wrote the textbook? And why on earth are police officers still following it?
Galarza is a community activist with La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park, a neighborhood group.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ca...
Standard YouTube License