New York City Councilman David G. Greenfield is calling for an independent investigation into the arrest of a 71-year-old Chasidic man who was cited for speaking on his cell phone while driving.
“It’s disconcerting to see a 71-year-old grandfather sitting in the emergency room with bruises all over his face and body after his interaction with local police,” Greenfield said after returning from Maimonides Medical Center, where the man was being treated, at 1:00 a.m. Monday. “The bedrock of policing in New York City is courtesy, professionalism and respect. The NYPD must investigate to ensure that these standards have been adhered to.”
“At the end of the day, when you are dealing with a 71-year-old man, a little common sense should prevail. No police academy will train you to do this to a senior citizen,” said Jack Meyer, president of community organization Misaskim.
Yidel Perlstein, chair of Community Board 12, said, “Just looking at this Boro Parker, you can see that he is not a threat. This could have been anybody’s grandfather. That’s why this is so disturbing.”
The 71-year-old alleges that he was pulled over at approximately 8:00 p.m. at the intersection of 18th Avenue and 53rd Street for talking on his cell phone. The man, whose native language is not English, said he was doing his best to explain that the officers’ flashlights were too bright, and he therefore couldn’t find his registration in his glove compartment.
He said that the officers then dragged him out of the car, shoved him into the ground and arrested him for “disorderly conduct.” He was released after being taken to the 66th Precinct.
“The bottom line is that, while we are not jumping to any conclusions, we need an immediate and thorough investigation,” said Greenfield. “I appreciate that the NYPD met us in the hospital to take a report, and I expect a full, fair and transparent investigation.”
Warning: disturbing video