The NYPD is under fire for alleged police brutality stemming from a video that showed officers appearing to slam a pregnant woman to the pavement as scores of witnesses looked on. The slamming incident comes on the heels of a recent incident from the same Brooklyn, New York precinct in which a vendor was kicked while handcuffed — another possible excessive force case under investigation.
Sandra Amezquita, 44, is the pregnant woman seen in the footage who is reportedly trying to intervene on behalf of her 17-year-old son. Police apparently stopped him for allegedly carrying a Gravity knife.
Cries from the crowd for the woman not to resist apparently came too late. The woman, some 5-months pregnant, appears to be slammed to the ground after officers grabbed her by the arm seconds earlier, according to a PIX 11 report.
Another family member tried to intervene, but an NYPD officer raced over and pushed them hard to the pavement, causing them to roll several yards before coming to rest. It’s difficult to tell from the footage caught on tape, but at least one onlooker says the second victim’s arm was broken by the police officer’s push. That assertion has not been verified.
El Grito De Sunset Park, a community activist and social justice group, posted footage on Facebook of the NYPD slamming the pregnant woman to the pavement. The site’s owner, Dennis Flores, is calling for the New York Police Department’s officers involved in the alleged police brutality incident to be terminated. He cites excessive use of force.
“What we see is a woman who’s trying to protect her son, who is being stopped and frisked by police, and she became a victim. Slammed onto the floor. Her belly is now with black and blue bruises. She’s bleeding and she’s having complications. These cops need to be fired.”
Councilman Carlos Menchaca, an area councilman, acknowledge that incidents like this point to a chronic culture among police officers in the 72nd precinct.
“Yet again, this is the second time we’ve seen a video like this in this precinct. This is a result of a culture that needs to change.”
The pregnant woman who was allegedly slammed to the ground by NYPD officers was cited for disorderly conduct. She and her unborn child are resting, but their long-term prognosis’ are unknown. The expectant mother’s husband, who tried to intervene, was cited for assault on a police officer.
Internal Affairs is investigating the case for alleged police brutality and excessive force against the pregnant woman and others on the scene.
[Image via: Digital Journal]