That NYPD officers are being accused of using excessive force on a black man is not necessarily new news. Still, the department is again in the headlines for the assault of a Bronx teenage boy over a quip he made when an officer stepped in dog feces.
According to The New York Daily News, Tyre Davis was walking nearby Brandeis High School where he is a senior. Davis passing by Officers Joseph Murphy, 26, and Jose Ocasio, 28 saw that one of the officers had stepped in the mess and made a quip saying:
“It smells like doo-doo.”
Davis said he immediately regretted making the remark, telling the paper he thought to himself:
“I was like, ‘Oh, man – why did I say that?'”
At that point, he said other officers in an unmarked van nearby scolded him for making a joke, then handcuffed him and took him to the 46th Precinct.
He said Murphy and Ocasio followed him when he was released after getting a disorderly conduct summons and led him into an alley. One punched him in the right ear, the other in the forehead, he said.
Davis said he fell and hit his head on a brick wall during the 30-second attack. “I thought I was going to die,” he said.
While there are many things wrong with this story, it does strike me personally. Growing up in New York, I was told in no uncertain terms by my parents that should I ever get into a situation with police to remain polite and dial my father so there would be at the least an audio recording of what transpired. Sure I was never told not to make any “slick remarks” but given the history of the force especially with people of color, that went without saying.
The Daily News’ description of the incident to start out the story reads:
A Bronx teen said two cops roughed him up when he mouthed off after one of them stepped in a pile of dog doo.
And while it’s a neat summary, I don’t think Davis was “mouthing off.” While the senior definitely knew his tone was a jeering one, that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous that these young officers assaulted him. Our police are supposed to be our protectors against the worst of things. Assault of an officer is considered a crime, but verbal assault? That’s a slippery slope. Hell, if slick talking is a crime, then New Yorkers would be heading to holding in droves.
What do you think of Davis’ assault? Did he have it coming or is that logic flawed? Weigh in Clutchettes and gents- let’s discuss!