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Bronx teen beaten by NYPD in drug arrest

Readers in New York may be all too aware that police officers can make serious mistakes when making an arrest. And, as one Bronx teenager and his family have recently seen first-hand, unfortunately such mistakes are not limited to merely procedural matters.

The Bronx district attorney and NYPD Internal Affairs say there is an investigation underway regarding the severe beating of a 19-year-old Bronx boy during what police say was a drug arrest. In addition to applying what appears to be extreme force while arresting the young man, police have charged him with possession of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine, robbery and assaulting a police officer.

A witness of the arrest stood by and videoed while police officers repeatedly kicked and beat the teenager with batons after he had been forced to the sidewalk. In the video, one officer appears to try to use Mace on the witness holding the camera.

The family of the young man said that his arrest was abusive. Looking for answers, they went to the police station to confront the officers about the incident, and the family was also arrested. The NYPD claims the family attacked officers, but the family denies that allegation.

The young man's mother told a local news station that her son "has staples in his head, he has staples in his arm, his eyes were black, his whole entire back is black, blue, purple." She also said that the police had refused to give the young man proper medical treatment.

When people in the New York City area are arrested on criminal charges, it is important for each individual accused of a crime to keep in mind that police officers are not above the law. They have legal obligations to adhere to proper police procedure. Bad police work should not result in a person's conviction, and when law enforcement officials fail to live up to their responsibilities, a strong criminal defense is necessary to ensure that the rights of the accused are vigorously upheld in court.

Source: Gothamist, "Video: Cops Beat Bronx Teen, D.A. Launches Investigation," John Del Signore, Jan. 31, 2012

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