A Bronx man charged with assaulting an officer last year is turning the tables on the NYPD, using video footage of officers allegedly beating him on the day of his arrest to file a police brutality suit. Luis Solivan, 19, alleges in a suit filed yesterday in Manhattan that cops followed him to his apartment on Nov. 14, 2011, broke in and gave him a "brutal and sadistic" beating, and neighbors across the hall managed to catch some of the incident on a camera phone:
The video shows Solivan being punched in the face by an officer as another holds him down—Solivan's suit also alleges that the officers handcuffed him, kicked him and thrust his head into a wall, leaving a hole. Solivan, who was awaiting sentencing in a 2010 stabbing at the time, claims the officers followed him in a marked cop car as he walked him after buying cigarettes, then broke down the door, pepper-sprayed him and beat him as his mother and two younger brothers watched. He was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer, and the officers filed a criminal complaint against him alleging that he'd attempted to take one of their guns, though the case was dismissed once the grand jury saw the video footage.
"What it shows is shocking," Solivan's lawyer Ilann M. Maazel told the Times. "It revealed that the police did not tell the truth and they wanted to put an innocent main in jail, potentially for many years." According to the suit, Solivan is seeking unspecified damages for excessive force, false arrest and malicious prosecution. One of his arresting officers, Thomas Dekoker, was ordered to pay $500,000 this past summer in another excessive force case that took place in the Bronx in 2008.
Just last month, a lawsuit was filed against the City by the family of a man who was allegedly choked by an NYPD detective and handcuffed to a bench; the man later fell into a coma and died.