NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Harlem teenager says she was roughed up by police officers who thought she was too old to be using a student MetroCard in the subway. She and her mother are furious
Alexis Sumpter, 15, said being detained, roughed up, and handcuffed by police was humiliating.
“I kept saying, ‘I’m 15.’ They said, I’m lying,” Sumpter told CBS 2’s John Slattery on Tuesday.
Sumpter and her mother said the treatment was uncalled for and abusive. It happened two weeks ago at this 125th Street Subway Station. The teen was going to take an “A” train downtown to a school-sponsored internship when the commute got ugly, she said.
She said that after using a valid, student Metro Card, she was followed by two plainclothes officers who must have noticed when she swiped her card and the white light comes on showing “student.”
At first, she said she didn’t believe the men were police and didn’t want to go with them.
“At this point these guys grabbed me by the arm, fling me up the steps and I said, ‘Come on, I’m only 15,’” Sumpter said. “When I got up, a third gentleman came up, approached me, put my face to the wall and they handcuffed me, yes.”
She said they wanted her to prove her age, that she was eligible for the discounted MetroCard.
“They wanted an ID, which I didn’t have on me because it got stolen,” Sumpter said.
She said they called her father, but couldn’t take his word over the phone. Her mother brought a birth certificate, with the child being detained some 90 minutes.
“I was furious. I was angry. I walked up to the officer and said, ‘Why do you got my daughter with handcuffs on?’” said Mirasol Sumpter, the teen’s mother.
Their attorney is filing suit against the police, saying Alexis Sumpter was illegally searched and detained.
She was a teenager allegedly put through the ringer, all because she didn’t carry an ID.
What does the NYPD say to the charges of unnecessary roughness? The commissioner’s spokesman did not immediately offer a response.
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