A Queens, N.Y., man is suing the New York Police Department after surveillance video captures officers pepper-spraying him for apparently no reason and hurling a racial slur while inside of a police vehicle, the New York Daily News reports.
Stefon Luckey, 34, who is Black, is seen in the video entering a Queens deli as four cops follow after him. Luckey and the cops argue before one of them pushes him down an isle against a wall. Two of the cops leave and the situation appears to dial down, until another cop enters the scene and pepper-sprays Luckey in the face. Luckey, who stands 6-foot-4 and weights 300 pounds, keeled over in pain.
The same officer sprays him two more times before arresting him. Even as officers handcuff Luckey and he puts up no resistance, the officer sprays him for a fourth time.
The Daily News has more:
Luckey sued in Brooklyn Federal Court last month over his May 14, 2013 arrest. He says he was waiting for his brother on the street when cops pulled the brother over for making an illegal U-turn.
Luckey, who works as an EMT, says he commented on the situation and was told to move himself across the street. He says he complied by walking into Y&H Deli for a drink while sucking his teeth in disgust.
But the cops followed him in and told him they were arresting him, he says.
When he asked why, the spray came out, Luckey says.
“It came as a surprise to me. I think they were just trying to bully me,” said Luckey.
The city Law Department and the NYPD declined to comment.
Luckey claims he was also punched in the ribs by a cop while riding in a police van to the 113th Precinct.
“I was screaming that I couldn’t see and breathe and that’s when one cop said, ‘Stop acting like a cry baby n—–,’” he recounted. When he reached the precinct, a captain threatened Luckey with a Taser gun, then put him in a cell for two hours without medical attention for his burning eyes, nose and throat, he claims.
Luckey was charged with disorderly conduct, but the charged was later dismissed. He also claims the cops didn’t return $200 in cash and his ID when his wallet was returned. His lawyer, Philip Hines, said that matter is under investigation.
Hines told the Daily News that the cops “felt like they could rule the streets with impunity.”
“When police officers such as these show callous and obvious disregard for the civil rights of the public, it undermines all of the great work done by the vast majority of the NYPD,” Hines added.
Luckey said the experience has changed his view on police officers.
“It was my first time to be treated that way,” he said. “Just a person sucking their teeth shouldn’t have to lead to all that.”