The Bronx District Attorney has opened an investigation into the actions and statements of Bronx police officers after a video surfaced that contradicts their statements as to the actions of 19-year-old Jateik Reed, who was beaten in the course of an arrest.
The Bronx teen was arrested back in January after police said that they witnessed him carrying bags of crack and marijuana. One officer swore that “He observed the defendant to have on his person, in his hand, one (1) clear plastic bag containing a white, rock-like substance, which he threw to the ground. In his hand, two (2) clear plastic bags, each containing a dried green leafy substance with a distinctive odor, in public view.” However the surveillance video shows Reed with his hands out and no drugs in view. Police also said that “The defendant flailed his arms, refusing to be handcuffed at which time the defendant struck informant (the officer) in his nose with a closed fist.” While the video does show Reed trying to get away, he does not appear to throw a punch. However, it is hard to get a good view of what was occurring. What is clear is the image of a female officer who casually walked up to Reed on the ground and, without any apparent reason, kicked the young man.
The case is another example of the value of videotape evidence despite efforts of prosecutors in Chicago, Boston, and other cities to charge citizens with filming police in public. Here is a prior column on the issue. Until this video, it was simply Reed’s word against the officers.
Notably, after Reed’s mother, Schuan Reed, and her son Jashuan, 17, went to the precinct to inquire about Jateik, they were also arrested for allegedly assaulting and threatening police officers.