On Monday night, WABC broadcast surveillance video of a 19-year-old Bronx man getting arrested in a bodega. The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau was investigating the arrest, which left Jorge Cartagena Jr. with bruises, cuts, loosened teeth and headaches. The teen claims that the arresting officers used excessive force while arresting him for nothing more than talking back to a cop who had warned him not to ride his bike on the sidewalk. But the NYPD has concluded that the officers followed proper protocol.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters yesterday that after an investigation, neither cop will be charged with any wrongdoing. Kelly asserted that after receiving a warning about the sidewalk pedaling, Cartagena Jr. threatened to do it again, then resisted their efforts to give him a summons. "Words were exchanged," Kelly said. "He resisted."
In the video (below), Cartagena Jr. can be seen saying something to one officer as the cop leaves the bodega. Whatever he said prompted the officer to whirl around and shove the teen against a wall. Then, with the help of his partner, the officer is seen throwing Cartagena Jr. to the floor and arresting him. We're unaware that talking back to a police officer is a crime, and judging by the video, it doesn't appear that Cartagena Jr. was resisting—he's brought down so fast it doesn't look like he even had time to resist. On the other hand, we really don't know what Cartagena Jr. said; for all we know it was, "I'm going to firebomb a Dunkin Donuts."
Cartagena Jr. says the cops slammed his head against the floor repeatedly and that one officer kicked him in the ribs. He spent the night in jail, and was issued a summons for biking on the sidewalk when he was finally released over 24 hours later. Cartagena Jr.'s father has hired a lawyer and intends to sue the city; his mother tells the Post, "They gave him a beating all because of a bicycle."