A postal worker who was arrested by NYPD officers while on duty two weeks ago is breaking his silence after video of his detainment was widely distributed on the internet.
Glen Grays told CBS This Morning that the camera footage of his disturbing arrest is what saved him.
“The only thing that I think saved me was that it was on videotape,” Grays said.
The use of cell phone cameras has arguably changed how police interact with citizens. In many cases of police abuse or brutality, camera footage often corroborates the witnesses’ story.
The encounter began when an unmarked police car sideswiped Grays as he walked across President Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Grays, who was attempting to deliver a package on his route, told officers they almost hit him, prompting the plainclothes cops to surround the 27-year-old. While cuffing him, the officers can be heard yelling, “stop resisting.” Grays insists he’s not resisting, allowing the cops to cuff him and place him in the unmarked car.
“I was extremely terrified. I was afraid if I didn’t comply, something was going to happen to me,” he told CBS.
“I believe they wanted him to resist,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who released the video, told CBS This Morning. “Those officers were extremely aggressive. He was smart enough not to resist. I believe because of that, he’s sitting here today telling his story.”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Monday said he was “not pleased” with what the video showed, adding that the participating officers were supposed to be in uniform.
While video cameras captured the controversial arrest and Grays’ compliance, what they didn’t capture was what happened in the vehicle after officers pulled off.
“I was told to shut up a numerous amount of times,” he said. “They rear ended a car and I wound up from the back seat banging my left shoulder onto the driver’s seat and banging my face onto their arm rest.”
Eventually, Grays — whose wife is a police officer — was issued a disorderly conduct summons. And although many viewers on the internet deemed the arrest an abuse of power, Grays said he hopes the officers will not be terminated.
“I don’t want them to be jobless because they might have family, kids they need to support,” he said. “It’s sad. I thought when I put on a uniform that I’d be treated a little different, but there’s no difference. I’m just another brother with a uniform.”
The incident is currently under review.