Police body cam video has emerged that shows New York City police officers punching a homeless man on a subway train, dragging him off of the train, pepper spraying him and appearing to choke him on a subway station floor on May 25.
The City reports that the homeless man, who was bloodied in the assault by the police, has been charged with felony assault by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
The homeless man is being charged for allegedly kicking an officer’s hand while the police appeared to place a knee on the homeless man’s neck, and later, a hand on his throat.
The police report says that the cops approached the homeless man, Joseph, because he was “occupying more than one seat” on a near-empty train. Joseph left the car and moved to the next one, and police followed him.
Joseph said he did not understand why the cops were ordering him to exit the train and refused: “You can’t arrest me for not wanting to get off of the train.”
When Officer Adonis Long reached out to grab Joseph, he batted the cop’s hand away. Seconds later, Long pounded Joseph were numerous punches. Long dragged drags off the train and kicekd Joseph’s bags on to the platform.
Joseph was thrown against a wall, bloodied and appeared to be choked by police while saying: “I can’t breathe!” and “I’m having a panic attack, please!”
Officer Shimul Saha, who was also on the scene, said that Long told him Joseph kicked his right hand while the officers attempted to cuff Joseph in the train station: “[Long] sustained swelling and substantial pain to the knuckles of his right hand and was transported to the hospital.”
Oddly, there was no me tion of Joseph’s injuries.
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment, but Edda Ness, staff attorney Legal Aid’s Manhattan Trial Office said: “The brutal attack on Joseph by these officers is both unconscionable and completely indefensible.”