En Español Know Your Rights
Source: The New York Times
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Brooklyn Man Was Beaten by Police, His Family Alleges

Relatives
of a Brooklyn man who has been hospitalized with facial fractures are alleging
that he was beaten by a group of uniformed New York City police officers at his home on
Saturday, and the police are investigating.

The
relatives, assisted by a community rights group,
Make the Road New
York
, identified
the man as Gamalier A. Reyes, 26, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who they said
was bipolar and schizophrenic. He was being treated on Monday at Woodhull
Medical and Mental
Health Center
,
his family said.

“From
what we know, he has fractures to the bones in his face. One of the doctors at
Woodhull said that he is likely to need facial reconstruction surgery,” said
Oona Chatterjee, a co-executive director of Make the Road New York. “He had another injury on the
left side of his skull, and he seems to have an injury to his leg.”

Paul J.
Browne, a Police Department spokesman, defended the officers in a statement on
Monday night, saying that Mr. Reyes initiated a confrontation with the
officers, and when they tried to subdue him, he attacked them.

Indhira
M. Reyes, one of Mr. Reyes’s sisters, said her mother and her brother, who had
been in the Dominican
Republic
, returned from the trip early
because he seemed “disturbed and incoherent.” When they arrived at their home
about 2 a.m. on Saturday, Ms. Reyes called her brother’s social worker, who
told her he would send an ambulance to take Mr. Reyes to a psychiatric
emergency room.

But
police officers arrived first, Ms. Reyes said, and after an encounter with her
brother, took him out injured and bleeding to the hospital.

The
family expects to announce plans to sue the city at a protest on Tuesday,
Ms. Chatterjee said.

According
to the police statement, officers were called by the social worker, who told
them that Mr. Reyes was acting violent and irrationally. When officers arrived,
Mr. Reyes told them, “You’re going to have to kill me. I’m not going.” When the
officers attempted to restrain Mr. Reyes, he punched one in the face and
injured a second officer in the leg. He was subdued and taken to the hospital
for psychiatric evaluation.

Two
officers received injuries, one of them requiring hospitalization, Mr. Browne
said.

According
to the police statement, the social worker had told the 911 operator that Mr.
Reyes was very aggressive on his trip and was injured in a fight in the Dominican Republic

A family
complaint to precinct personnel was referred to the Civilian Complaint Review
Board. The police also notified the Internal Affairs Bureau, which is
investigating the claim.

Ms. Chatterjee said that an officer from the
Internal Affairs Bureau contacted her on Monday evening, but that she referred
him to a lawyer the family is meeting with on Tuesday.