William Sidney, one of two men arrested for attempting to assault a police officer in Washington Heights after being evicted from the subway – is seen in a Facebook video admitting that he incites an arrest in order to sue the City. The video was posted by his buddy Aaron Grissom who was also arrested during the scuffle with police. In the video, Sidney brags that he is known by police in many precincts and he uses his fists to get paid. He admits to having three lawsuits against the City already with this current arrest setting him up for a fourth.
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said:
“The anti-police atmosphere that has been generated by many in this city for political gain has created a cottage industry where mopes like William Sidney make money through the use of staged, videotaped events. Sidney incites an arrest by physically assaulting an officer and using a video tape, conveniently recorded by a partner, to portray himself as a victim. He intentionally does not comply with a legal order by police to give up his hands for cuffing so that they use necessary force to gain compliance. Their staged video, posted on social media, goes viral and generates outrage from elected officials and activists. The false narrative causes DAs to drop the charge of assault of a officer which then sets the City up as a patsy in for false arrest suit. This is the kind outrageous and offensive behavior that NYC police officers have to deal with routinely. 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.”