A Brooklyn cop has been accused of violating NYPD guidelines after hitting a suspect in the head with a baton during a 2012 arrest.
The Daily News reports that a prosecutor with the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board has accused NYPD Officer Keith Dsouza of using potentially "deadly physical force" against Ryan Scails on July 4th, 2012. Scails, then a 24-year-old arts student, was arrested by Officer Dsouza and his partner, Officer Fernando Lopes, after he was allegedly seen urinating on a building in Red Hook.
Officer Dsouza claims he "never touched" Scails's head with his baton during the arrest, and a surveillance video of the arrest neither confirms nor denies Dsouza's assertion. But Scails filed a CCRB complaint soon afterward, and at yesterday's disciplinary trial, prosecutor Heather Cook sided with Scails. "“There was never a deadly physical force threat to these officers — never,” she said yesterday. “[Dsouza] hit him in the head, and he knew he wasn’t supposed to him in the head. He got in more than one whack on his head.”
Scails says that on the night of the arrest, he had been drinking with friends in Prospect Heights and went to a bar in Red Hook. On his way home to Park Slope, he stopped to relieve himself and was arrested. "I felt violated,” he said. “I still do." A spokesperson with the CCRB tells us Dsouza faces the loss of a week's pay; the Police Commissioner will determine his final punishment.
The NYPD's use of force has been under scrutiny since Staten Island man Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by a cop earlier this month. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has promised to put cops through extensive retraining, though he says the NYPD will continue to make arrests for lesser crimes as part of Bratton's "broken windows" policing policy.