NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new video released Saturday could potentially bring more trouble for the New York City Police Department, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported.
The video reportedly shows a confrontation between a Brooklyn mother of four and police officers.
As WCBS 80’s Jim Smith reported, the video was taken four days before Staten Island man Eric Garner died of an alleged police chokehold.
Police said they were following up on a 911 call of a domestic argument in the building but had no specific apartment number. CBS 2 reported that they heard a commotion coming from Stewart’s apartment and wanted to investigate.
Police said they acted because they were not allowed inside the apartment to properly investigate and thought it was suspicious.
Once inside the apartment, police said a 12-year-old girl had visible injuries on her face and told officers she had been assaulted by her older sister and mother.
Police said when they tried to arrest Stewart, two other family members tried to stop them. Police also said Stewart bit one of the officers.
Witnesses captured the video, where Denise Stewart can be seen topless, wearing only her underwear and sitting in an open hallway surrounded by police, Brennan reported.
Stewart, 48, was handcuffed and lost a towel that covered her, leaving her topless for more than two minutes. The video shows Stewart falling to the ground before being covered.
A neighbor is heard on the video telling police Stewart has serious breathing problems, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Stewart told the Daily News she did nothing wrong and was embarrassed to be naked.
Now, Stewart’s family is speaking out.
“She’s still feeling a little traumatized about everything that happened because what they did to her was wrong,” Stewart’s son Magic Stewart told CBS 2.
As WCBS 880’s reported, Stewart and the 12-year-old were both arrested on charges of assaulting an officer; two of Stewart’s grown children were also charged with resisting arrest.
“The way I feel is my whole family is traumatized. The babies were crying, it’s messed up,” Magic Stewart said.
Former NYPD detective and expert on police training, Joe Giacolone, looked at the video for CBS 2. He said police had to do something because they suspected a possible violent emergency was taking place behind the closed door.
“Apparently they heard screams coming from the apartment,” Giacolone said. “Under exception to the Fourth Amendment, police can enter your home to make sure everyone is safe.”
Stewart’s lawyer Amy Rameau told WCBS 880 her client is mortified.
“She’s not well. Whenever she talks about the account, she cries,” Rameau said. “She did absolutely nothing wrong.”
On Saturday evening, Rameau released a statement that reads:
“Ms. Stewart is a respected member of her community and she committed absolutely no crime. These officers conducted themselves in a deplorable manner. They pepper sprayed her four year old grandson and a male officer punched her twelve year old daughter, the same twelve year old they claim they were there to protect.
What these officers did exemplifies not only a disrespect for women in general but a disrespect for women of color in particular because of a general disrespect for communities of color. The recent murder of Mr. Eric Garner is but an example of the same disrespect for communities of color. There has to be some remedy for this kind of police misconduct. These officers are discriminating against communities of color and they are doing it under color of law.”
“These officers conducted themselves in an absolutely deplorable manner,” Rameau told WCBS 880.
The incident is being investigated by Internal Affairs.
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