Al Sharpton is calling out a New York City police sergeant who shoved a handcuffed 14-year-old boy through a glass window, saying the city and the department cannot tolerate that kind of brutality.
The victim, Javier Payne, was arrested along with a 13-year-old friend in the Bronx on May 17. The pair were accused of assaulting a 39-year-old man they had asked for a cigarette. When Javier was handcuffed, he reportedly started mouthing off to Sgt. Eliezer Pabon of the 48th Precinct.
Surveillance footage showed that the officer then shoved Javier from behind, causing him to crash through a window of a nearby store, the Hookah Spot. Investigators would later find that the window was already damaged and in a weakened condition when Javier was shoved into it.
“There was a hole with a spider web of cracks around the hole,” Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, told The Daily News. “It wasn’t structurally sound.”
The damage to Javier Payne was severe. The eighth grader — who weighs less than 90 pounds — had many deep cuts as well as glass shards in his lungs. Payne was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery and was in intensive care for four days.
“This is a difficult time,” said his sister Christina Payne. “I’m very upset and I just want justice for my brother, for these cops to be brought to justice.”
Many have spoken out against the arrest, with Rev. Al Sharpton leading the way. He admitted that the boy accepted blame in the initial incident, but said officers had no right to treat him that way.
“I don’t care what he said. A police trained does not shove a handcuffed child. If you are so agitated that you can shove a handcuffed child out of anger, you ought not be on the police department,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton appeared at a joint press even with Javier Payne, who lifted his shirt to show a gash on his left side that required 50 staples. Javier also had a thick white bandage across his forehead.
“This is unbelievable,” Sharpton said. “This is because he talked smart to a cop.”
The NYPD is already moving on the incident. On Friday the officer who shoved Javier was stripped of his gun and badge, though Al Sharpton said he hopes there is more punishment to come.