Following accusations that a New York City police officer stole $1,300 in cash from a Brooklyn man during a stop-and-frisk, the department said all the man had was $62, which has been vouchered.
“No one stole $1,300,” Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis told the New York Daily News Thursday.
According to the Daily News, Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and NYPD internal affairs are investigating the Sept. 16 incident, which was caught on video.
The video showed the officer spraying the face of the man he frisked on a basketball court outside a Coney Island housing project; the officer allegedly sprayed the face of the man's sister as well, the newspaper reported.
“The NYPD is denying what they can’t admit, and admitting what they can’t deny,” attorney Robert Marinelli told the Daily News. “However, the video does not lie.”
[sharequote align="center"]"The video does not lie.”[/sharequote]
Marinelli is representing Lamard Joye, who alleged the officer took $1,300 from him, the paper reported. Marinelli said the $62 in question was taken from a different man.
Marinelli told the Daily News that Joye is a construction worker and had withdrawn the cash from a bank a week before because the day of the altercation was his 35th birthday and he'd planned to take his wife out. Marinelli gave the Brooklyn district attorney Joye's pay stubs, along with visual evidence of Joye cashing his paycheck at a check-cashing store and bank records documenting the withdrawal, the paper reported.
Police said officers arrived at the scene after a call about a man with gun.
Marinelli told the Daily News that just before the video recording began, police were roughing up another man when Joye and his friends shouted, “Is that necessary?”
Then as an officer approached Joye, Marinelli said his client asked, “Are you going to do to me what you did to the guy in Staten Island?” — a reference to Eric Garner, who died in July as a result of New York City cop's chokehold, according to a medical examiner.
The video showed Joye putting up his hands and then an officer pushing him against the basketball court fence around 12:20 a.m. “You see this?” Joye asked.
Then the cop was seen on video pulling from Joye's pocket "a thick wad of cash," the Daily News said.
“Gimme my money!” Joye shouted. The officer then squirted him in the face with spray.
Joye's sister Lateefah then began arguing with the officer.
“I went to get his badge number and name,” Lateefah Joye told the Daily News. “I leaned over to see his badge. He pushed me away. I saw a two and a one and that’s when he pepper-sprayed me in my mouth and my whole face.”
“I believe that this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft," Marinelli said. "This assumption was wrong. Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer deserving respect."
Joye spent 10 years in prison after his August 1997 arrest for attempted murder of a police officer, the Daily News reported, adding he was convicted of lesser charges.
Here's the clip of the incident: