NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A Brooklyn backyard barbecue on Labor Day turned into a police baton whirling fight and the subject of a $10 million lawsuit against the city and the NYPD.
A group of 10 party guests was at the East Flatbush home of Rodney and Kesha Terry on September 5. The group’s lawyer — Sanford Rubenstein – said the party goers were following orders to move double-parked cars when a police lieutenant ordered an end to the function.
That’s when the melee ensued with police allegedly using batons and pepper spray against the group.
“Everybody was having a great time. We had our children actually in a swimming pool… and everything was peaceful until the cops arrived,” Rodney Terry said.
However, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the scene was much different.
“The police were responding to a large disturbance…this was not something confined to a party in somebody’s backyard,” Browne said.
Seven people were arrested — including one man who was charged with felony assault of a police officer.
Rubenstein said that one guest suffered a broken leg and another guest had ribs broken in the incident.
“The injuries were totally unnecessary. The police used excessive force. This has to be stopped in this city,” Rubenstein said.
Police had been called to Terry’s home earlier that night because of loud music, according to Rubenstein.
Now, the group of 10 party guests has filed a $10 million suit, claiming police used excessive force.
However, Browne disputes that notion and said the event was more than just a backyard barbecue.
“This was a large disturbance that the police responded to,” Browns reiterated.
Brown said that police officers were first attacked and the accusations aren’t true.
“In one case, an officer was being assaulted. And in others there was resistance with ultimately the seven individuals who were being arrested,” Browne said.
“The officer had his fingers in my wife’s face. I asked him to get his fingers out of my wife’s face. He said ‘this party is over, cuff this [expletive]’, smashed my head into the car, put the cuffs on me. The crowd was yelling ‘what are you doing.’ My wife asked him ‘do you realize what you’re doing’ and that’s when he smashed my wife’s head into the car,” Terry said.
Rodney Bonds said he witnessed the incident as described by Terry after which he said the altercation spilled into the home.
“They began to rush inside of the house and began to start beating people up randomly. Grabbing people, macing people, knocking people on the floor and just going wild on the party goers,” Bonds said.
The altercation is being sent to the Civilian Review Board for investigation.