Attorney: Suffolk officers tried to cover up controversial arrest, all present should be removed from force
Calls are being made for more action to be taken against the Suffolk police officers who were allegedly caught on body camera footage kicking and pushing a handcuffed suspect.
Attorney Fred Brewington released higher quality footage of the February arrest in Mount Sinai, which also had clearer audio in which police can be heard saying "stop resisting."
On Monday night, Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart and County Executive Steve Bellone held a news conference announcing two officers were suspended without pay and four others put on modified duty.
Brewington represents 30-year-old Christopher Cruz in a civil claim against the Suffolk Police Department for alleged gang assault and violation of Cruz's civil rights. Officials have said officers kicked and punched Cruz during his arrest last week. Police say Cruz was arrested for stealing an SUV and crashing it into two police cars.
On Thursday, Brewington further accused the officers in the video of trying to cover up the incident. He pointed to two moments in the video -- a whistle and audio where someone says, "Is that a cage car?" and "Yeah, with all the cameras in it, too."
Brewington says both were a warning from one officer to the others that they were being captured on camera.
Cruz's attorney is now calling for all 15 officers present at the arrest to face further action.
"To be immediately taken off the force, and immediately named so the community knows who these predators are," says Brewington.
Brewington wouldn't let Cruz speak to reporters because of pending criminal charges against him. But Cruz's sister did speak, saying, "I grew up respecting police. But these men and the men who stood by and watched my brother get kicked and punched are cowards, and they need to answer for their cowardly acts."
When asked about Brewington's requests about naming the officers, Bellone and the Suffolk Police Department declined, saying the incident is now the subject of criminal investigation.