The filming of a Staten Island-based drama was recently cut short by locals who may have taken exception to a police brutality scene being shot at the site of the late Eric Garner’s death.
The New York Daily News reports that the team working the set of “The Fifth Boro” decided to call the production off after a bottle came flying in and nearly hit actor Marc John Jefferies on Thursday night, October 25. Jefferies was preparing to enact the role of an African American suspect who gets roughed up by a couple of white cops – when he says glass shattered “about 8 inches” away from him.
The crew had been moving around the Stapleton and Tompkinsville neighborhoods for a couple of hours leading up to the incident, with cameras beginning to roll at Tappan Park at some point during the mid-afternoon. But director Steve Stanulis determined that it was no longer safe after the alleged attack. “Everyone was fine, but there were a couple malcontents. We called for everyone to pick up the set and we moved to Bay Street Landing,” he told the New York daily.
The two law badge-wearing actors who were about to tackle Jefferies to the ground were James Russo and Anthony Mangano. Apparently, neither of them was aware that the Bay Street corner beauty shop outside of which filming was scheduled to take place was the very spot that plain clothes officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Garner via an illegal chokehold back in 2014.
"Despite his NYPD background, [director Steve] Stanulis insists he chose Thursday’s location for its 'shady' vibe and wasn’t aware that was where Garner had died until he was told of that fact by locals." #nyc #thefifthboro #nypd #statenisland #ericgarner https://t.co/Sl9iGB4qOH
— Janet Burns (@warmlyburns) October 29, 2018
Stanulis also claims to have been unaware, in spite of the fact that he is himself a former NYPD officer who worked the area for six years. He says it didn’t occur to him, even though the Garner case was blown up to be a story of national proportions, with protests breaking out across the country and some of the world’s most famous athletes and entertainers echoing the “I Can’t Breath” protest mantra that sprung from the tragedy.
Jefferies reportedly told the publication that he perceived the trouble to come from “boozers” as opposed to individuals acting in protest.
“They were just being ignorant and I don’t have time for that,” he is quoted as saying. The Get Rich or Die Tryin’ star claims to have gotten a pretty good idea of who he was dealing with after stepping up to give the party responsible a piece of his mind, to which he says he was told, “If you don’t like it, you can get the F out of here.”