15 year-old honor student Brittany Rowley has put the NYPD back in the headlines after being “roughed up” by two of its officers in a case of mistaken identity.
Last Friday, Rowley and a friend were walking down the street in Brooklyn near the site of a shoplifting incident involving two young ladies who allegedly looked and were dressed similarly to them. Two plain clothes officers approached them and, fearing they were about to be kidnapped, Rowley and her friend ran.
Rowley was caught by one of the officers and slammed to the concrete.
“Catanzaro tackled Rowley and threw her to the ground. He threw his keys, she said, hitting her leg. She recalled him saying, “Why did you f—— run? I should punch you.”
She claims Catanzaro yanked her up, whipsawing her neck. She says police also snapped on cuffs, causing bruises. Her friend returned and was collared too.
An NYPD official insists the incident was good police work, noting that Catanzaro obtained surveillance tape from the clothing boutique that exonerated Rowley, even after the store manager identified her as the suspect.”
Rowley was held at a police station for three hours before it was settled that she’d done absolutely nothing wrong. Although released without charge, the traumatic incident has haunted Brittany ever since. Rowley’s father has filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against the NYPD and the arresting officers, claiming false arrest and excessive force.
As NewsOne points out, Brittany Rowley’s story is just another example of the NYPD’s outrageous, overly-aggressive tactics in our communities.
“The NYPD has not been a friend of minorities. NewsOne recently reported a case in which a Black NYPD sergeant was caught on tape spewing expletives at young, Black males for apparently no reason. Before that, we reported on the NYPD’s insistence that ‘Stop And Frisk’ is a great program, while being tone deaf to the concerns of the city’s minority population that the program’s tactics are particularly aggressive. But, no matter how many Brittany’s are roughed up after being falsely accused of crimes, the NYPD will find a way to rationalize it as ‘good police work.'”
How do you feel about Brittany Rowley’s harrowing experience?
Should the Justice Department investigate the NYPD’s treatment of people of color?
Sound off below!