FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There’s outrage over a violent arrest caught on camera on Long Island.
Video shows police officers kicking and punching a suspect on the ground. The controversial arrest led to a rally Friday, with protesters calling for action against police brutality.
Police say the suspect led officers on a chase and resisted arrest, CBS2’s Christina Fan reports.
Akbar Rogers, 44, walked out of court Friday with his head heavily bandaged and a patch over his eye.
“I can’t comment on too much of the case right now,” he said.
While he wouldn’t talk about the controversial arrest that led to his injuries, his mother, Natalia Bazile, did.
“I feel terrible for what they did to my son,” she said.
Rogers’ family and community activists are furious over the now-viral video, showing Freeport Police punching, tasing and even appearing to kick Rogers as he was being arrested.
Protesters say it’s a clear use of excessive force.
“They could have just arrested Akbar Rogers. They could have just put the handcuffs on him and put him in prison and let him have his day in court. But they beat him, and they beat him brutally,” Pastor Arthur Mackey Jr. said.
The police department says Rogers was wanted on outstanding warrants and led them on a high-speed chase. When police later came to his home, they say he resisted arrest and grabbed his waistband.
On Friday, protesters demanded a list of the police officers’ names, for them to be placed on administrative leave, and for body camera footage to be released. Many in town are divided over the video.
“I think there should be a thorough investigation,” one woman said.
“I think the police were doing their job that the guy, if he was resisting arrest, you know, we gotta stop dividing the community,” another woman said.
An attorney representing the involved officers sent CBS2 a statement reading: “It is clear from any honest objective view of the video that reasonable force was necessary to subdue a man clearly resisting. The individual ignored repeated verbal commands to stop resisting. Once properly restrained, no additional force was used. This matter does not warrant a grand jury presentment.”
The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating. Protesters also called on the state Attorney General to open a separate independent investigation.