Tag Archives: resisting arrest

Raising resisting arrest to felony charge could happen in NYC

The commissioner of the NYPD, Bill Bratton, has made the suggestion of raising the charge of resisting arrest to a felony.

At a joint hearing on Wednesday with the four State Senate committees, Bratton made the suggestion along with a number of other recommendations. “I think a felony,” said Bratton according to the Observer, “would be very helpful in terms of raising the bar significantly in the penalty for the resistance of arrest.”

Currently, resisting arrest in the state of New York is a misdemeanor charge, but Bratton said the current penalties for the charge are not enough to deter the nearly 2,000 resisting arrest charges per year in the city. According to the New York Post, the charge rarely gets prosecuted in court, but if it were raised to a felony this could change. “We’re asking district attorneys to treat them more seriously than they have been treated in the past.” said Bratton.

Bratton did acknowledge some of the cases involving the charge may not be legitimate, however.

A report published in December last year by the WNYC by retired criminal justice professor Sam Walker, says, “There’s a widespread pattern in American policing where resisting arrest charges are used to sort of cover – and that phrase is used – the officer’s use of force… Why did the officer use force? Well, the person was resisting arrest.”

According to this same article, not all officers fall into this category of using the charge as a “cover.” Records uncovered by Walker show the number of NYPD officers who are involved in civilian complaints related to an officer’s use of force, are a very small percentage.

“If there are 10 lawsuits — lawsuits — there’s something wrong here,” said Candace McCoy, a professor at the Graduate Center and John Jay College at the City University of New York in the same report. “And if this person has not been reprimanded and controlled there’s something wrong.”

Some of the other suggestions made by Bratton, which did not generate as much controversy, are having heavier penalties for individuals who fatally attack law enforcement officers, installing bulletproof glass in police vehicles, and possible punishments for people who publish personal information of officers.

NYPD stomps on individual’s head during arrest

The NYPD’s methods are once again in the spotlight as another amateur video has surfaced showing officers stomping on the head of a suspect being placed under arrest.

The video shows officers apprehending Jahmiel Cuffee, 32, after the officers reportedly saw Cuffee rolling a joint in the street.  The officers asked Cuffee for his ID and began to place him under arrest, and after Cuffee hands his ID over, bystanders begin to record the arrest.

We see Cuffee begin to resist arrest by trying to get away from the officers, only to be pinned to the ground.  As Cuffee struggles, he even grabs the arm of a female bystander, who is telling him to calm down, to try and escape the officers.

After writhing under the officers, Cuffee seems to give up, and the camera focuses on Officer Joel Eduardo, 36, who can be seen walking off camera.  Shortly after walking off camera, Officer Eduardo appears again on camera and stomps on Cuffee’s head, causing the surrounding crowd to shout and panic.

“What is wrong with this officer?” an unknown person on the video says immediately after the officer stomps on Cuffee’s head.  Others in the background of the video take up other jeers and begin to shun the officers.

Cuffee was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for head and neck injuries.  Eduardo has since been put on desk duty, according to the New York Daily News.

Community Advocate Tony Herbert told PIX11 in New York City, he was upset at the way this officer treated a member of the community.  “This officer,” said Herbert, “cannot represent our community and work for us if he’s going to violate people’s rights.”

The NYPD has said they will be investigating the incident to decide whether or not Officer Eduardo, or any other officer in the video, was using excessive force or not.

Police charged Cuffee with resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.