A Manhattan man claims that cops who arrested him for disorderly conduct slammed him down on a car hood, repeatedly struck him with a baton and Maced his eyes while he was handcuffed on a Bronx street.
And he appears to have cellphone video to prove it. The crude footage of the June 20 incident involving demolition worker Raphael Jefferson shows police officers cursing at bystanders, calling Jefferson a “faggot” and shoving the 20-year-old against a parked car’s bumper after allegedly Macing his face.
The video also shows an officer loudly smacking an object onto the street near Jefferson’s head as he lay face-down on the ground and another officer wiping the sole of his foot either on or near the Harlem man’s pants.
“He was treated like an animal,” said Jefferson’s lawyer, Justin Blitz, who has filed a notice of claim against the city, the first step to a planned police-brutality lawsuit. “There can be no legitimate justification for hitting and striking a man who is handcuffed on the ground.”
The Police Department says Jefferson was busted for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he “became irate” when officers stopped him for drinking alcohol outside a store at East 167th Street and Washington Avenue.
Jefferson said he was not drinking but that he drew the cops’ ire when he walked away from them as they approached an acquaintance who was drinking a beer. “I heard the officer say, ‘Stop. Where you going?’ ” Jefferson said.
Jefferson said he was handcuffed and had his face shoved into a hot car hood. Then, after Jefferson was placed on the ground, a cop “hit me about two to three times in my lower back and in my neck,” he said.
Jefferson said he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on the advice of his then-lawyer and received a sentence of time served after spending two days in jail. When asked for comment, a police spokesman mentioned Jefferson’s past arrests for drugs and burglary.
NYPD Internal Affairs officers interviewed Jefferson last week.
Last month, two NYPD officers were placed on modified duty after separate incidents involving them were videotaped. One tape showed a cop shoulder-tackling a bicyclist in Times Square. The other showed an officer repeatedly striking a man on his legs with a metal baton as other cops tried to handcuff him.