What to Know
- There are increased demands for an NYPD officer to face charges after being involved in a rough arrest in May over social distancing enforcement
- Video of the incident shows a violent arrest by an officer who has since been placed on modified duty
- Attorneys for the man being arrested in the video said they not only want the officer to lose his job, they want to see him face charges
There are increased demands for an NYPD officer to face charges after being involved in a rough arrest in May over social distancing enforcement.
In an incident that was caught on video, Officer Francisco Garcia appears to be holding a stun gun as he approaches Donni Wright in a crosswalk along Avenue D and East 9th Street in Manhattan’s East Village. The plainclothes cop can be seen yelling at the 33-year-old Wright before forcing him to the ground and kneeling on his neck, in a move reminiscent of the one used by a Minneapolis police officer on the neck of George Floyd before his death.
Garcia is seen repeatedly slapping Wright’s shoulder and side of his head after he was thrown to the ground. The officer was placed on modified duty after the video surfaced, but attorneys for Wright said that’s not enough – he should be fired and prosecuted.
Wright and his legal team met with investigators and the district attorney’s office on Thursday as they continued to call for Garcia’s arrest, and put pressure on local leaders to hear their case. Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out in June after seeing the video, which has caused an uproar among advocates and within the police department.
“The officer looked at Donni, approached him – he was 10 feet away from him – took him and threw his body against him, threw him to the ground, tased him,” said activist Rev. Kevin McCall. “This could have been another George Floyd right here in New York City.”
Wright has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the city.
“I don’t think it’s right for cops to be treating people like that,” Wright said Thursday.
“What we need is this office to be fired and arrested. That’s when we’ll celebrate,” McCall said.
Garcia said that Wright appeared to take some sort of "fighting stance." Neither the NYPD nor the city said they would not comment on the matter any further, as it is part of an ongoing investigation.
Wright was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct as well as assault on a police officer and menacing.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea previously stated that officers recovered a Taser device and what he called a small amount of marijuana from two others arrested in the incident.