NYPD Probing Police Beating of Alleged Inwood Drug Dealer, Officials Say
INWOOD — The videotaped arrest of an alleged drug dealer, showing several police officers beating the man with fists and batons, is now under review by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau, authorities said.
Police arrested Francisco Caminero, 23, on Sunday, Aug. 10, after officers said they saw him sell cocaine in front of 148 Sherman Ave., officials said.
The video — which has since been taken down from YouTube — shows Caminero put his hands in the air then reach toward his pockets, leading an officer to slam him against a metal rolldown gate. Four other officers then push him to the ground, where he is repeatedly punched in the face by one while another officer strikes him with a baton.
A police source said officers used force to subdue Caminero because he refused to allow himself to be handcuffed. On the video, an officer can be heard yelling, “Give me your hand.”
Caminero was charged with criminal drug possession with intent to sell, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
Caminero told DNAinfo New York that he was not resisting arrest but unable to move.
“How can I give you my hands when I’ve got like seven of you on me beating me up?” said the Bronx resident, who used to live in Inwood.
Caminero said police approached him while he was at barbecue to celebrate the Dominican Day Parade and asked him to put his hands up. He claimed an officer then asked him to show his ID and when he reached for his pocket to get it, an officer punched him in the face.
Caminero said that the initial hit caused him to momentarily black out and that he came to on the ground with several officers on top of him. Caminero heard an officer say, ‘Give me your hands,’ but claimed he couldn’t move.
“I wasn’t resisting arrest. I couldn’t move,” he said. “You're hitting me, I’m not even covering myself up.”
None of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on modified duty, a police source said.
Caminero suffered several scrapes and bruises during the arrest, but said a recent visit to the hospital revealed no fractures. He said he retained a lawyer after video of the incident surfaced.
“I don’t want this to repeat here in Washington Heights, in New York City,” he said. “They beat me up. I want this to stop.”