Public Sector Alliance October 10, 2014

Brooklyn D.A. vows probe into ‘troubling’ NYPD videos

By Azi Paybarah

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Rev. Al Sharpton and Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said three recently published videos showing alleged police misconduct in the borough were “troubling” and vowed “to conduct fair and thorough investigations into each and every one of them.”

Speaking to reporters late this afternoon before an unrelated event he hosted in downtown Brooklyn, Thompson said, “If any police officer has crossed the line, we have to hold them accountable.”

One video published by the Daily News on Wednesday shows an incident from Sept. 6 in which an officer appears to take $1,300 out of a man’s pocket after frisking him, then pepper-spraying the man’s sister who asked for the money back.

Also published by the News yesterday was video from June 4 in which a plain-clothes officer in Clinton Hill hits a teenager who was on the ground.

On Tuesday, DNAinfo published video from August in which two officers in Crown Heights can be seen hitting a teenager while the teen’s hands were raised. One officer punched the teenager; another hit him with his gun. The teen was arrested for possessing 17 bags of marijuana and also charged with disorderly conduct.

Tonight, the Rev. Al Sharpton will address the videos on his nightly MSNBC show, “Politics Nation,” according to a notice from the network.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, has said in response to these and other videos that judgment should be reserved until more information is gathered, since videos often do not show the full series of events involving the officer and suspect.

Thompson said that was a legitimate concern, but said the videos were nonetheless incriminating.

"The videos do not capture everything but they do capture important events and some of those events are troubling and we need to look at them and that’s what we’re doing," he said.