Officer Francisco Garcia NYPD officer excessive use of force on social distancing protestor, Donni Wright leads to cop being stripped of gun & badge. History of ongoing abuse from rogue cop.
At what point does police use of force cease to be justified?
Shocking video has emerged of a NYPD cop beating up a man over an alleged social distancing violation over the weekend. Upon the footage (see below) going viral, NYPD Officer Francisco Garcia was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty pending further investigation.
The incident comes after several plainclothes NYPD cops broke up a group of people ignoring social distancing orders and dragged a man to the ground and arrested him in the East Village on Avenue D and 9th Street, Saturday afternoon, just on 5 p.m.
Two minutes after the arrest bystanders began to shout and decry the force used by police, prompting Officer Francisco Garcia to threaten the crowd with a stun gun and shout ‘Get back. Get the f**k back’, according to the nypost.
Donni Wright, 33, was a part of that crowd and shouted ‘He didn’t even do nothing in shock over the cops’ earlier arrest.
‘What you flexing for? Don’t flex,’ Garcia, wearing a black T-shirt, jeans, Yankees cap and a belt showing his officer’s badge, replied before punching Wright in the head.
The cop who has a history of serial abuses (see more below) punched Wright repeatedly and forced him to the ground. He dragged him onto the sidewalk where he was placed in handcuffs by another officer.
The beatdown led to outraged pedestrians screaming only for Garcia to shout back ‘That’s right!’
Some of these officers at the scene, including Garcia, were notably not wearing protective masks, which is required to be worn by law enforcement.
Wright was arrested on charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. The charges have been deferred pending further investigation, a Manhattan District Attorney’s Office spokesperson said.
Hey Bill de Blasio, safest city? I’m so happy to see some cops are doing real police work. The guy was interfering, they told him to back off, and he kept on coming up.
I’m sure de Blasio will Modify this cops. pic.twitter.com/86Mq6KH1CM
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) May 3, 2020
NYPD cop has cost NYC over $200K in settlements over abusive behavior:
Video footage of the confrontation was shared on NYC Scanner’s Twitter page where it racked up more than 112K views and sparked outrage over excessive police force.
‘The behavior I saw in that video is simply not acceptable,‘ Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday.
‘Saw the video from the Lower East Side and was really disturbed by it. The officer involved has been placed on modified duty and an investigation has begun,’ he said.
‘It started out as a social distancing enforcement,’ Commissioner Dermot Shea on Sunday. ‘I am aware of the video that’s out there.’
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell said Wright ‘took a fighting stance against the officer’ when ordered to disperse.
The NYPD said that Garcia felt threatened when Wright struck a fighting stance.
It remained unclear how or why the armed seasoned police professional who was in the company of other police officers, ought to have ‘felt threatened’ by the un-armed protestor.
Posted Shaun King on Instagram: ‘It’s not enough, but NYPD Officer Francisco Garcia, badge 19234, has just been taken off of the streets, his gun taken from him, and placed on desk duty, while his violent actions are reviewed by Internal Affairs. This has happened to him MANY times before this, as the city has paid out lawsuit after lawsuit for his brutality. But this is the first time he’s been made famous for it.’
Of note, Officer Francisco Garcia, an eight year veteran has been sued seven times over the last six years — costing the city more than $200,000 payouts in six settlements, court records show.
The largest settlement the city doled out was for $120,000 in 2018 in response to allegations against Garcia and his partner Gabor Kolman, according to the records.
The lawsuit alleges the pair racially profiled Hector Hernandez in January 2016, which led to a wrongful arrest and assault.
‘This certainly isn’t the first time and this isn’t even the first time in this pandemic that we’ve seen evidence of discriminatory policing by the NYPD,’ Jennvine Wong, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society’s Cop Accountability Project, said.
The police department assigned 1,000 officers to social distancing patrols over the weekend as temperatures reached the high 70s.
On Saturday, they issued 51 summonses, including 43 in city parks. At a news conference Sunday, Shea said he was aware of just three arrests.