What to Know
- Police officers at a village on Long Island, one of whom is the mayor's son, became the subject of an investigation Thursday
- A video of them violently arresting Akbar Rogers was posted on social media, sparking a call for the investigation and a protest Friday
- Police alleged that Rogers assaulted a 35-year-old victim on Oct. 13 and that he led police on a high-speed chase on Nov. 3
Police officers at a village on Long Island, one of whom is the mayor's son, became the subject of an investigation Thursday after a video of them violently arresting a man was posted on social media.
Freeport police say the officers were placing Akbar Rogers, who was wanted for an outstanding warrant for aggravated unlicensed operation, under arrest on Tuesday after he ran away from cops who tried to stop him at his home.
The video shows two officers with their arms around Rogers, who was standing behind a metal fence, and attempting to pull him over.
Another officer then helped pulled Rogers to the ground. That's when a fourth officer came in and started punching Rogers, the video shows.
The woman who recorded the footage can be heard yelling "why are you punching him like that? Why are you hitting him?"
Rogers is heard crying for help as officers tell him to "stop resisting," and using a taser on him.
Rogers' family says they want answers. "They attacked my dad. My dad was crying out for help," his son Rahquell Rogers said.
Freeport police say the video only tells part of the story. They alleged that Rogers assaulted a 35-year-old victim on Oct. 13 and that he led police on a high-speed chase on Nov. 3, leading them to Tuesday's controversial arrest.
Rogers allegedly ran through backyards to flee police when they confronted him.
"Upon catching up with Mr. Rogers, he refused multiple requests to surrender, kept reaching for his waistband, and the officers, in order to protect themselves and the members of the community, wrestled Mr. Rogers to the ground," Howard Colton, Freeport Village's attorney, said in a statement.
Village Mayor Robert Kennedy has asked the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office to "look into the matter," according to Colton.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is also calling for an independent investigation, saying "With videos like this, it's a snapshot. We don't know what happened before, we don't know what happened after."
Community activist Rev. Joe Brown says he will lead a protest Friday in response to the incident. "The policemen have to learn that they can't be the judge the jury and the executioner themselves," he tells NBC New York.
Rogers' family was expected to bail him out of the county detention center Thursday and he's expected to attend Friday's rally.
In a statement the Freeport police union president Shawn Randall said the Freeport Police Benevolent Association "stands behind our officers and the safety and security of the residents we serve."