The Brooklyn district attorney’s office is investigating allegations that an NYPD cop swiped more than $1,000 from a man during a stop-and-frisk then pepper-sprayed the man and his sister when they complained, the Daily News has learned.
The encounter was captured on a cell phone video, which has been turned over to prosecutors and the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, said lawyer Robert Marinelli.
“One of the most disturbing things about the video is the other cops standing around watching and doing nothing to stop the wrongdoing,” Marinelli said Wednesday.
Marinelli represents the siblings who were pepper-sprayed — Lamard Joye who claims the cop took $1,300 from his pocket, which has still not been accounted for, and his sister Lateefah Joye, a professional basketball player in Europe, who tried to get the cop’s badge number.
“I believe that this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft. This assumption was wrong. Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer deserving respect,” said Marinelli.
The brief clip begins with the unidentified cop pushing Lamard Joye against the fence of a basketball court at the Surfside Gardens housing project in Coney Island around 12:20 a.m. on Sept. 16.
Right before the recording began, according to Marinelli, Joye remarked to the cop, “Are you going to do to me what you did to the guy in Staten Island?” referring to Eric Garner, who died in July after a police officer put him in a chokehold.
What precipitated the incident, and is not recorded on the video, according to Marinelli, were cops roughing up a young man named Terrell Haskins nearby, prompting Lamard Joye and his friends to shout, “Is that necessary?”