NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Attorneys announced a $50 million lawsuit against the NYPD on Thursday on behalf of a Bronx man they claimed was beaten unconscious by officers.
Raul Garcia, 39, and his attorneys alleged in the lawsuit that on June 3 an arson fire had been set in a building at the Jackson-Melrose Houses on Courtlandt Avenue, where his girlfriend lived, according to a New York Daily News report.
Garcia claimed another man, Jonathan Ogando – who was arrested and charged in connection with the arson – initially blamed the arson on Garcia, the newspaper reported. At that point, officers beat him, Garcia and his attorneys alleged.
“An officer knocked him down, began choking him,” attorney Herb Subin told 1010 WINS. “We have photographic evidence of this. And then three more officers jumped on – one with a baton – beating him across the head until he was bloodied and unconscious on the street. They then picked him up, handcuffed him, dragged him along the road and left him there.”
Garcia claimed the officers did not tell him what was happening.
“They told me nothing. I’m under arrest, there’s no charges, nothing like that,” Garcia told 1010 WINS. “They dragged me to the floor, and they wanted me to put my hands behind my back, and started hitting me.”
Garcia was left unconscious and was seriously injured, Subin alleged.
“He appears to have a very significant brain injury,” Subin said. “He has a lot of physical injuries that haven’t been diagnosed yet. And he’s incredibly traumatized. He’s taking heavy-duty pain medicine, heavy-duty tranquilizers so that he can cope with the fact that he was really attacked by the people who he called to protect him.”
Garcia said he is now afraid of the police.
“We were telling the police what happened, and for no reason, they (were) flipping on me and they started to attack me,” he said.
Garcia was charged with resisting arrest in the incident.
A police source told the Daily News that Garcia – who the paper said has at least 15 prior arrests – ran from police and refused to be handcuffed. He then allegedly tried to bite one of the officers. But Subin said Garcia did nothing.
“The police really, at this point, are unbridled and have no compunction about attacking people in broad daylight,” Subin said. “There’s no ramifications to them, and then after they brutalized and victimized Mr. Garcia, then they charged him with resisting arrest, which isn’t even an appropriate charge because he never put up any fight.”
The NYPD told 1010 WINS the incident was under internal investigation late Thursday.
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