NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some in a community in Queens were outraged Tuesday, saying the NYPD went too far in using a taser during a recent arrest.
Police say the man was resisting arrest and making threats to officers. Facebook Live video shows 24-year-old Sean Marcellin being tasered and arrested last Thursday afternoon on Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway. It’s gotten hundreds of thousands of views and seemingly countless comments.
“I think it was overkill,” Far Rockaway resident Jeff Bellamy said. “I didn’t see the real reason to drag him out of the car personally. But like I said, it’s not unusual to see something like that happen.”
Police sources tell CBS2 Marcellin was stopped by plain clothes cops after failing to use a turn signal. The video shows him then being confronted by several police officers asking him to exit the car and show his license.
Nearly two minutes later, Marcellin can be heard swearing at officers. Police say he also threatened responding units, saying “I’m gonna find you and (expletive) up your kids.”
“He’s not attacking a police officer, they shouldn’t use a taser,” Deborah Ebanks says. “Yes, he was swearing. Yes, he was. But it was no cause for him to taser him.”
Mayor de Blasio chimed in Tuesday afternoon, and said he hadn’t seen the video.
“I will look at it,” he said. “But anything like that deserves a very careful investigation.”
The issue is expected to be front and center at Wednesday night’s community meeting at the 101st Precinct. Many wonder if their voice will make a difference.
One man says the community has been fighting with the issue for years.
“Police are still going to do what they do,” Ebanks said.
Malachi Davidson says he and his friends in the Rockaway Youth Task Force are more than willing to state their case.
“In a situation like this where we are the ones growing up in this community, it’s important we get off what we have to say,” he told CBS2’s Erin Logan. “Hopefully, we can see some accountability in what happened because it’s just ridiculous.”
Police are still investigating whether the use of the taser was necessary. Meanwhile, Marcellin is due back in court on February 22nd.