NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A pregnant woman was taken down to the ground on her belly by police in Sunset Park, Brooklyn this past weekend, and it was all caught on camera.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the cellphone video of the incident had residents in the neighborhood outraged.
An officer is seen on video throwing the woman to the ground. He then straddles her body while her abdomen is pressed against the pavement.
“It was disgusting what we saw,” said Dennis Flores, of the local police watch group El Grito de Sunset Park. “You know, how can you treat a human being this way – you know, an innocent child in the belly?”
Flores’ group released the video on Tuesday.
He said around 1 a.m. Saturday, the six-months pregnant woman was trying to stop police from harassing her 17-year-old son, John Lemos, for his prior robbery arrest from a year ago.
But police said they were arresting Lemos for possessing a knife, and his mother was interfering.
Lemos claimed police planted the knife on him.
“According to this young man, the cops, when they put the razor blade in his pocket, they told him, ‘We’re going to make sure this time, it sticks,’” Flores said. “So the mom saw this, started yelling out, and the cops grabbed her and slammed her against the floor like we see in the video. And they put a Taser to her stomach.”
Police are then seen throwing another woman to the ground as she tried to interfere. Lemos’ mother said the Taser left a burn on her abdomen and she was still in pain days later, but she was grateful her baby was still alive.
Lemos himself was left with several cuts and scrapes to his face.
The incident happened less than a week after another police officer in Sunset Park was allegedly caught kicking a fruit vendor while police were holding him on the ground. That officer was suspended, but residents said that is not enough.
Flores said he wants the officers fired.
“Unfortunately, this type of stuff keeps repeating itself,” Flores said. “These officers are acting with, like, immunity. They have a license to hurt people and there’s no accountability.”
Police said Lemos was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and harassment. Two other males were charged with assault, resisting arrest, obstructing government administration, and harassment, while a woman was given a disorderly conduct summons, police said.
The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the latest incident.
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