Secretly recorded footage, filmed by a man from the Bronx, has exposed officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) for arresting a man without any tangible reason.
The man- Benjamin Farias, has officially filed a notice of claim with the city, announcing his intent to sue the officers and the department for his arrest on April 20, 2015.
Farias said he encountered the officers around 6 p.m. that day, at the Grand Concourse- a major thoroughfare in the borough of the Bronx, in New York City. After the officers stopped him, they ordered him to get out of his car. Immediately after the officers stopped him, judging from the posture of the officers, he suspected that something nasty might happen and therefore started to film the encounter with his cell phone.
No matter how many times he asked why he had been stopped, the officers provided no legitimate answer. He said at one point, the officers accused him of having an “expired license,” to which he responded by giving the officers legal documents proving that his license had been restored. But he said the officers ignored the documents.
“I knew something was wrong, so I decided to film. I felt as though they pulled me over and abused me for sport,” he said.
Farias said after they had isolated him away from his vehicle, they began to search through his car, all the while cracking jokes about how they had stopped him for no reason. Unknown to them, the phone was recording their conversation.
In the video captured, the officers were heard telling Farias that a plastic bag under the seat looked as if it contained a weapon. One officer then confessed that he had no idea why they made the stop. They found nothing in the car besides an uneaten cookie.
The cell phone audio captured the following exchange between the two officers:
Officer 1: “I don’t even know why we pulled him over.”
Officer 2: “Just put cocaine test.”
After playing this unnecessary game, the officers later said they had stopped Farias for an obstructed windshield, which was caused by a Christmas tree air freshener dangling from the rear-view mirror of the car.
Farias said “It’s a basic air freshener everybody uses — I’ll never use it again though,” Farias coaches baseball at Regis High School.
After roughly two hours, Farias said he was released from the 52nd Precinct stationhouse without any further charge. He said when the officers finally allowed him to go, he could not believe what had happened and was left thinking about the incident; however, the secret footage he managed to capture later provided him great relief.
“It was almost like eureka! I knew something was up. I felt like I got cheated because I had no evidence. I could finally tell a story that somebody would believe,” he said.
Farias is now claiming that due to the unprofessional conduct by the officers, he is suffering from a fractured wrist due to the way he was handled.
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