Warning: Distressing Content
A 20-year-old man who was beaten bloody by a police officer during a traffic stop is planning to sue the New York Police Department for millions.
The beating occurred as Kevin Diaby was returning home after dropping off a friend at around 6:30pm on Tuesday (July 9).
He was reportedly parking his car near the corner of Fifth Avenue and 130th Street in New York when two officers pulled up in a police car next to his vehicle and asked the young man for his license and registration.
The situation escalated as Kevin was later filmed lying on the ground and being aggressively punched:
I’ve known this kid his whole life! A college kid home for summer break a SCHOLAR, not a THUG in a stolen Vehicle, not a KILLER or ARMED ROBBER just a COLLEGE kid! His father was pushed violently by the cops for what? STOP THE 32nd PRECENT #NYPD #Harlem #NYC @dondivamagazine pic.twitter.com/Dp7ywCXceO
— Monnie44 (@McD180) July 10, 2019
Kevin told the MailOnline he has a learner’s permit and is in the process of getting his driver’s license however he didn’t have the paperwork with him at the time. As a result, the officers told him they were going to impound his car.
The 20-year-old explained a crowd began together as he got pulled over.
As soon as they pulled me over, everyone began to walk out.
That’s when the lieutenant told me if the people in the community weren’t putting him on the spot like that, he would have let me go loose.
I’ve never been in no situation like this in my life. I’ve never bled that much blood in my life. Seeing my own blood on the floor was crazy.
— Monnie44 (@McD180) July 10, 2019
New York Police later said they pulled Kevin over for failure to signal. NYPD Detective Sophia Mason reportedly also claimed the 20-year-old was wrestled to the ground because he shoved a policeman who was attempting to impound his vehicle, which is why Kevin was initially charged with resisting arrest.
The detective said:
The 20 year-old male reached into the driver’s side of the vehicle, reached across the officer and shoved the officer. The 20 year-old male resisted arrest and was taken into police custody.
However, footage of the incident shows Kevin raising his arms in the air and backing away from an officer before being taken to the ground. Footage of the incident from police body cameras has not been released.
On Friday, Kevin’s attorney, Elliot Kay, submitted a notice of claim announcing plans to sue the NYPD. The lawyer explained Kevin, who is a Binghamton University student with no criminal record, needed 12 stitches to close a gash above his left eye after the incident.
Kay told the MailOnline:
His neck is messed up. He’s having difficulty moving it. There’s also numbness radiating through his hands. We’re going to have his neck and back checked out.
Kevin’s pending suit seeks $10 million in damages. Kay is also representing Kevin’s sister Fatou and another bystander named Christopher Johnson, who he said was tackled by police while filming the encounter. The trio were all taken into custody by police after the incident for alleged minor offences.
Fatou told the MailOnline she tried to reach inside her brother’s sedan to remove her phone charger as officers were attempting to impound the vehicle. One video shows a male officer pushing Fatou away from the car as she tried to reach inside it.
The attorney commented:
The officers just lost their self control. When you have officers that are beating and assaulting members of the community, it’s going to erode the public confidence in law enforcement.
People distrust police because this type of thing happens weekly if not more often. It’s just not always video taped.
The Manhattan DA’s office confirmed it is declining to prosecute any members of the trio but did not elaborate further.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.