The former director of public affairs for NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio will sue the city and the NYPD over injuries sustained during a scuffle at the West Indian Day Parade last year. You may recall the stupid incident, which was caught on cell phone video: Kirsten John Foy, City Councilmember Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), and others were attempting to exit the parade when officers allowed them to pass through a "frozen zone" near the Brooklyn Museum. But toward the other side the officials encountered different cops who ordered them to turn back the way they came.
In the altercation that followed, Foy, who says he identified himself as a city official, was thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, subsequently told the Times that "a crowd formed and an unknown individual punched a police captain on the scene." The officer who was supposedly assaulted was never identified, and no assault charges brought against the mysterious perpetrator. The cop-punch is not seen in video that surfaced after the incident, but you can see an officer throwing Foy to the ground:
“When I was tripped, I felt something pop in my knee,” Foy tells the Daily News. “When I was lifted off the ground, rear-cuffed, something snapped in my shoulder." Foy had to undergo surgery for a fractured kneecap and torn ligament, and the News reports he needs another operation to repair a rotator cuff injury to his shoulder. Councilmember Williams, who is not a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said at the time, "If you believe a black person can punch a police officer in this city and nothing happens to him... I defy the NYPD to find one shred of evidence of any police officer being punched in the face."
Internal Affairs investigators determined that an officer used excessive force when shoving Foy to the ground, and that a supervisor did not provide adequate supervision.The officer and the supervisor will receive command disciplines, while a third cop was reprimanded for not communicating that he had allowed the two men to pass through a checkpoint.
Foy says NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly personally apologized for the incident. But Foy tells the News, "This isn’t just about what happened to me. It happens thousands of times daily to Latino and African-American men who don’t have a high profile like me to stand up and say something about it. The ultimate bottom line will be a change in policy and a change in police behavior."