The New York Daily News has uncovered yet another allegation of egregious force by New York Police Department officers. Emergency medical technicians told the newspaper they witnessed four officers beat a man being carried away in a stretcher in handcuffs, after he spit and cursed at the officers.
Officers responded by punching the patient in the face multiple times, pulling him off the stretcher and onto the ground, and then throwing him back into the stretcher, according to a written report by EMT officers to the Fire Department of New York. All the while, the patient remained helpless, restrained in both handcuffs and foot shackles. An EMT who reported the incident to the Fire Department of New York said in the report that he and another EMT who corroborated the story had to intervene to break up the beating. He said the patient “sustained injuries to the head and face” that were treated in the ambulance.
The EMTs were first called to retrieve the patient from a Brooklyn police precinct and bring him to a hospital on the evening of July 20. The patient was described as “emotionally disturbed,” “combative” and banging his head against the wall.
A representative for the New York Police Department told Reuters on Tuesday that the Internal Affairs unit was investigating the incident. He declined to confirm the details of the incident.
The report comes in the wake of the death of Eric Garner hours after police held the asthamtic man accused of selling cigarettes in an illegal chokehold. The death was deemed a homicide by the medical examiner. Since then, numerous reports have surfaced of officers dragging a woman naked out of her home, putting another man in a chokehold after punching him in the face, and putting a pregnant woman in a chokehold for illegally grilling on the sidewalk.