One of the men beaten with batons by cops in Washington Heights — in a clash caught on video Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday called “troubling” — once boasted about his penchant for suing the NYPD, newly unearthed video shows.
“They don’t like me but they can’t touch me,” Sidney Williams, 37, sipping from a drink, says in the video.
“They get hurt and I get paid. I got three lawsuits, working on number four. Keep f---ing with me, police. I’m gonna show you what it is.”
On Tuesday, Williams got in a new dust up with cops. The controversial clash, recorded by a bystander wielding a cell phone, shows cops repeatedly kicking and striking Williams and pal Aaron Grissom, 36, with batons after they were on the ground.
The officers were responding to complaints that the men were smoking and bothering people inside the 168th St. station.
The officers use of batons on the two men raised questions about excessive force. But court papers uncovered by the Daily News indicated Grissom threw the first punch.
Pat Lynch, head of the NYPD’s largest union, the Patrolmen Benevolent Association, accused Williams and Grissom of deliberately provoking the cops who beat them and describes the beatdown video as “staged.”
“This is the kind outrageous and offensive behavior that NYC police officers have to deal with routinely,” Lynch said.
“It underscores the reason why all such videos should be ignored until the totality of circumstances are revealed through a thorough investigation. This case is a perfect example of why our city’s leaders should not react in any way to uninvestigated videos promoted through social media. ”
Grissom and Williams were awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court Wednesday evening on charges including assault.