Community leaders rally behind Freeport man who was an alleged victim of police brutality
The alleged victim of police brutality was at the Nassau County courthouse in Mineola Friday for a follow-up appearance days after a video of his arrest by Freeport officers went viral.
Akbar Rogers, 44, was seen walking out of the courtroom with a bandage on his head, a patch over his eye and his left arm in a sling.
Cellphone video captured Rogers' arrest--where Freeport police officers were seen punching the suspect, while ordering him to stop resisting arrest. A Taser being deployed can also be heard in the video.
Rogers was arrested on an outstanding warrant for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and a separate charge of physical harassment, according to the Freeport village attorney.
The village attorney also told News 12 that Rogers led police on a car chase one day before the arrests were made.
Rogers' family, however, say this is a case of police brutality and community members are expected to hold a rally in his support later today.
"I'm proud that I got a lot of support from people out there who saw this event," Rogers says. "My kids and my family--they are really distraught by the whole deal."
Community members held a rally in response to the incident calling for the names of the officers involved to be released to the public. Supporters also said the officers should be placed on administrative leave without pay.
"They could have just put the handcuffs on him and put him in prison and let him have his day in court, but they beat him and they beat him brutally," says Arthur Mackey, of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.
The attorney representing the officers says they were doing whatever was necessary knowing fully that they were being videotaped.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is calling for an independent investigation into the incident.
One of the officers in the video is Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy's son. The mayor says he supports an investigation into the incident.