A retired NYPD cop is telling his story after he said he was falsely arrested for threatening neighborhood teens with a gun — with another twist in the saga involving allegations about a department chief.
"I’m being blamed. I’m the victim, and I'm made to look out as the bad person. And that's not right," said Kruythoff Forrester.
The 52-year-old said that three teens threw a basketball at a security camera at his family business in Brownsville the night before Thanksgiving, then ran away. He also said that the same three kids came by the business earlier in the afternoon and broke a separate camera.
When asked if he thought it could have been an accident, Forrester said "No. It was deliberate."
The retired cop who left the NYPD in 2020 has a licensed gun. He insists it stayed in his waistband as he walked to try to talk to the kids.
"I walked up the block. I was only going to say to the kids, 'Can you do me a favor please? Just leave my camera alone,'" Forrester told NBC New York.
But more security camera video shows he never got to the kids, as they bolted. Forrester said that he took his hands out of his pocket to put his sweatshirt hood over his head.
"Once I put my hands back inside, I heard one of them yell out, 'I think that N-word might have a gun,'" he said, insisting that he never brandished a gun or fired a shot.
There was no alert through the NYPD's ShotSpotter system, but relatives of the boys reportedly called 911. Forrester said that cops swarmed his lobby, with a sergeant ordering him handcuffed and led to a patrol car.
He said that he was never told why he was arrested. Forrester was taken to the 73rd precinct's stationhouse, and released a couple of hours later. His arrest was later voided by Chief Jeffrey Maddrey — an action that some have suggested was improper.
"What matters is, the reason why he showed up, is so that the right thing would be done," said NYPD Captain Tarik Sheppard, who works in the department's Community Affairs unit. "If this cop had fired shots or something at somebody, trust me, Maddrey would be showing up to make sure he went to jail."
Sheppard noted that several other high-ranking officers were involved in the process. On Thursday, Brooklyn clergy members rallied in support of Chief Maddrey.
"He's been at the lead of praying with us, being a part of us, and the forefront from seniors to youth," said Reverend Robert Waterman.
Forrester denied that he was released because he is a former police officer, instead saying "there was no evidence."
The security camera footage is evidence that was clearly available before the sergeant ordered Forrester handcuffed and paraded out in front of the community. But afterward, the implications of favoritism conveniently were leaked.
"I think it might be some personal vendetta. It's very unfair. It’s unfair to him and to me," Forrester said.
The department's internal affairs bureau has closed its investigation, NBC New York has learned. The Brooklyn district attorney’s office has only said that it has been in touch with investigators, which is standard operating procedure.