FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Several police officers in a Long Island village remain on the job after a controversial video surfaced of them making an arrest.
But as CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday, an investigation is underway.
The explosive altercation caught on cellphone video is being widely shared on social media.
Seven Freeport police officers made a controversial arrest. At least two are seen punching the suspect, while another seems to kick him. All of it has sparked outrage because the officers appear to be white and 44-year-old Akbar Rogers is black.
“They should hold themselves accountable for their actions. Justice needs to be served for my father because of the way how they Tased my dad and beat my dad and my dad’s crying and screaming out for help,” son Rahquell Rogers said.
“It is a snapshot. We don’t know what happened before. We don’t know what happened after and this is something that the review will uncover for us,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
There was a call for calm and patience now that an investigation has been launched into the arrest. District Attorney Madeline Singas will lead the probe, following requests from the county executive and Freeport Village Mayor Robert Kennedy, whose son is one of the arresting officers on the video.
“I spoke with the mayor last night. He was very clear with me to get this right to the district attorney’s office for that reason,” Curran said.
Freeport police said Akbar Rogers was wanted on outstanding warrants and led them on a high-speed chase. Cops broke away to avoid endangering the public. The next day police came to his home, but he fled and a struggle ensued. Cops said Rogers resisted and grabbed at his waistband.
“There is two sides to every story, their side and our side, and our side is the truth,” said Natalia Bazile, the mother of the suspect.
NAACP Long Island regional director Tracey Edwards said her organization supports the probe.
“Any abuse of power by any police officer really undermines all of the great work by the good police officers that we have here on Long Island,” Edwards said.
Several organizations have called the incident a clear use of excessive force.
“It’s highly disturbing, it’s traumatizing, particularly to communities of color, black and brown people,” said Nia Adams of the Long Island Progressive Coalition.
Protesters have planned a rally for noon on Friday at a Freeport church. The local police union said it stands by the actions of its officers.