What to Know
- A man with health issues was brutally punched and tased in his home by police responding to a 911 call, his family and attorney say
- Police responded to the Staten Island home of William Colon, 24, after a neighbor called 911 after hearing Colon and his girlfriend arguing
- Now, police reform advocates are calling on the NYPD to fire the officer who punched and tased Colon
An NYPD officer who was filmed punching and using a taser on a Staten Island man with health issues should be fired, police reform advocates and the man’s mother say.
Police responded to 24-year-old William Colon’s home on Sept. 28 after a neighbor heard him arguing with his girlfriend and called 911.
Video captured by Colon’s brother shows an officer punching and tasing Colon before arresting him — a show of “brute force” that never should have taken place, advocacy groups including the Legal Aid Society, the NAACP’s Staten Island Branch, Communities United For Police Reform and Make The Road New York said in a statement Wednesday.
At a rally outside Staten Island Criminal Court, the groups and Colon’s mother Sonia Adorno asked the NYPD to fire the officer involved in the incident.
“No mother should bear the horrific sight of her child being manhandled by the police over a crime that he did not commit,” Adorno said in a statement. “The police are supposed to protect and serve, and their assault on William breaks that promise.”
Colon stands at 4-foot-8 and weighs 85 pounds as a result of a diabetes-related complication called Mauriac syndrome, the groups said in a release.
He also suffers from GERD, scoliosis and asthma, in addition to other medical conditions, according to the release.
“Given William’s medical conditions, this attack could have been fatal” Chris Pisciotta, the Attorney-In Charge of the Staten Island Criminal Defense Practice at the Legal Aid Society said.
Pisciotta said Colon only learned he was being arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend after the incident, and Pisciotta, Colon’s family members and Colon’s girlfriend’s lawyer, Lou Gelormino, all say that Colon didn’t attack his girlfriend.
Gelormino maintains officers threatened Colon’s girlfriend into writing a statement saying he’d hit her.
A spokesperson for the NYPD on Wednesday told NBC 4 New York the Staten Island District Attorney “reviewed and upheld the charges against… Colon.”
“Eight body worn cameras at the scene show officers responding to a domestic violence call,” the spokesperson said. “The incident remains under review.”