A New York woman said she plans to file a lawsuit after an encounter with police left her with a head gash so deep it required several staples to close.
According to the New York Daily News, Janay Graham was trying to film a melee between officers and a group of revelers that unfolded on Saturday outside Marcy Houses in Brooklyn during a Family Day event. That’s when she said she was knocked to the ground by cops, who struck her in the head.
Graham, 29, insists she was only trying to make a video of her nephew, who she claims was also assaulted by officers as he sat handcuffed in the back of a squad car.
“As I started to record, they hit me, boom,” she recalled to the newspaper.
Graham wasn’t charged in the incident.
A brief video from the melee shows an officer’s chest while a woman off-screen shouts, “Don’t touch me!” Seconds later, the cellphone falls to the ground and a uniformed officer stands over the victim, insisting he’s only trying to help her.
Another woman is heard screaming at the officer.
NYPD officials said three people were arrested and nearly a dozen others were summonsed for disorderly conduct Saturday as officers struggled to disperse a drunken crowd who’d gathered for what was supposed to be a family-friendly event at the public housing complex — once the home of billionaire rapper Jay Z. Police said the group of revelers began throwing bottles, injuring an officer in the process.
Guillermo Lopez, 17, was among those arrested after he allegedly head-butted an officer during the mayhem, which broke out shortly after 11 p.m., the New York Post reported. Graham described the late-night scene as “frantic.”
“There were so many cops, I’ve never seen that many,” she said. “There were like 10 precincts there.”
Naomi Colon, president of the Marcy tenants association, denied that it was the tenants who started the brawl and accused police officers to being “too pushy.”
“We had a beautiful family day and after we shut down the grills, you can’t just take them up into your houses. They have to cool down,” Colon told the outlet. “We had them out there and I think the cops were too insistent, too pushy.”
Attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who’s representing Graham and other tenants injured in the confrontation, told the Daily News he expects to file a notice of claim for damages.
“I will be turning over all video my clients have to the Brooklyn district attorney and requesting that the bureau that reviews police misconduct begin an investigation,” he added.