A gay man claims he was accused of public urination, called anti-gay slurs, violently attacked, and thrown against a squad car by a New York City police officer in an incident last week outside a Brooklyn precinct that was captured on video by the victim’s roommates.
Three men — Josh Williams, Ben Collins, and Antonio Maenza — reported that they were walking past the 79th Precinct in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on June 3 when an NYPD officer allegedly accused Williams of urinating in public, according to a report by New York’s Anti-Violence Project.
The officer was joined by five other officers who also attacked the man, throwing him to the ground and pepper spraying him while he was in handcuffs, the report alleges.
Williams was handcuffed tightly, causing lacerations, which required treatment at a local hospital, where he was again restrained with wrist and ankle cuffs.
Williams’ companions were also arrested after getting into a verbal altercation with the officers, demanding their badge numbers and telling them they had recorded the assault.
“I believe they arrested us because when the last officer who called us faggots, Tony told him that we had the incident on video, and I’m sure he relayed that information inside and they then decided to follow us outside and arrested us.” Collins told the Village Voice.
The AVP released this video of the incident:
Williams claims he did not urinate in public, and that the officer next checked for any signs that he did.
“This case is so extreme in how the encounter escalated so fast over something so silly and turned so violent,” said Williams’ attorney, Cynthia Conti-Cook. “Based on how the incident started, there’s very little to justify such extreme action other than homophobia.”
The AVP said it is AVP is “outraged by an incident of police violence” and is planning a press conference outside NYPD headquarters in Manattan on Tuesday.
“We will be bringing attention to this incident of police violence affecting our LGBTQ communities,” the AVP said, in a statement.