Stop-and-Frisk: Down but Not Out;
NYPD Investigates Bronxite's Video
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 9- A young man's cell phone video captured NYPD officers in Queens telling him he was not being frisked as one officer later informed him -- he was being patted down for weapons.
Brian Garcia, 21, is not ashamed to admit he had succumbed to the drug-flooded streets of the South Bronx and the borough's anti-crime tactics used by the NYPD and had fled to his mother's home in the Rockaways, where the video was recorded.
On April 8, Garcia says he was standing outside of 433 Beach 40 Street and he started shooting his video shortly after officers from the 101st Precinct pulled up in a patrol car.
Standing a few buildings away from his mother's residence, Garcia recalls, "I was outside the building and they were looking and pointing at me, so I started recording them on my cell phone."
On the 1:56 video, after asking Garcia to take his hands out of his pockets, the officer asks, "You got no weapons on you, right?"
The officer then starts to tell Garcia, "I'm just going to..." as he appears to start patting down the young man's pockets, when the young man fires back, "No, I don't give you consent to search me."
The officer repeatedly tells Garcia, "I'm not searching you."
The video shows the officer patting down Garcia's pockets and ankles, when the patrolman is heard telling Garcia, "I searched you to make sure you didn't have any weapons."
According to the New York State Criminal Procedure Law, section 140.50 states the search is allowed if the officer, "reasonably suspects that he is in danger of physical injury."
Garcia is then heard telling the three officers, including one ranking member, "It's unconstitutional," when Garcia is cut off as at least one officer physically struggles with him and the phone now shows only brief moments of the scuffle.
Recalling the moment, Garcia claims, "They went for my phone, but I didn't let them take it." He added that he handed the phone off to a friend so the video would not be erased. He was handcuffed and placed inside the patrol car.
After watching the video, Kate Rubin, the managing director of the Civil Action Practice at The Bronx Defenders, stated, "This video makes it clear that while recorded stops and frisks are down, the NYPD still has a long way to go to ensure that the conduct of individual officers is both lawful and respectful of the communities they serve."
Shortly after reviewing the video, Sergeant Brendan Ryan, a spokesman for the NYPD's Office of Deputy Commissioner of Public Information offered a one-sentence statement that read, "The incident is being investigated by the Commanding Officer of the 101st Precinct."
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, one Queens cop who has made countless stop-and-frisks offered, "There's a lot of things we have to take into account that the public does not see. We also don't know why the officers were there in the first place, but I don't see anything wrong with the stop."
Garcia is currently facing as many as nine years in prison after an April 8, 2013 incident in the Bronx, where he claims a female undercover officer's promise of sex prompted him to take her to the local drug spot when he was later arrested on Simpson Street. Garcia is due back in court on May 21.
For more on this story and to view the controversial video, go to: DavidgreeneNYC.com.
Tags: stop and frisk